Surge in attacks on critical journalists and media
Just over a year after taking office in January 2018, President George Weah signed a press freedom law decriminalising defamation of the president, sedition and malevolence. Despite this significant advance in the protection of Liberian journalists, there have been many verbal and physical attacks on media personnel since then, with the result that the Press Union of Liberia wrote an open letter to the UN secretary-general voicing alarm about the rapid rise in official intolerance for independent journalism and dissent. The targets included the investigative newspaper Frontpage Africa The entire staff was briefly arrested in April 2018 and the publisher was threatened by a government minister with imprisonment after a report questioning government spending. The problems continued in 2020, with ten cases of threats and intimidation logged in the last quarter alone. Many restrictions were also imposed on coverage of the coronavirus crisis.
95 in 2020
32.25 in 2020