Liberia

4.2 million people
330 USD GNI (PPP)
Press:
Partly Free
Partly Free

News & Updates

written by
Lisa Davis
Senior Advisor for International Legal Affairs

Large-scale corruption and economic crimes often go hand in hand with mass human rights abuses in authoritarian countries. The two are mutually reinforcing: Dictators gain and maintain power—and perpetuate impunity—through a combination of violent repression and the distribution of patronage and graft opportunities. The plunder of public wealth serves as both an incentive for retaining power by force, and a means of rewarding those who carry out or cover up regime crimes. Despite this connection, the mechanisms of transitional justice have not adequately dealt with the legacy of authoritarian corruption nor remedied its far-reaching socioeconomic effects.

Freedom House applauds the Liberian government’s move to temporarily release imprisoned journalist Rodney Sieh, and urges the government to review his case and take action to ensure Liberia’s compliance with freedom of expression norms. Today’s move by the government of Liberia is the latest in the ongoing saga of Sieh, editor and publisher of FrontPage Africa, imprisoned in August following his failure to pay $1.5 million in damages imposed by the Liberian courts after a former Minister of Agriculture succeeded in a libel suit against his paper.  The Ministry of Justice ordered a 30-day “compassionate release” for Sieh, who has been in poor health, but the resolution of the case remains unclear.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defense, Media Freedom, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa


Freedom House joins the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and key Liberian human rights organizations in condemning the arrest and prolonged detention of Rodney Sieh, the managing editor and publisher of newspaper FrontPage Africa.  Mr. Sieh remains hospitalized after  he began a hunger strike protesting his imprisonment.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defense, Media Freedom, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa
written by
Mary McGuire
Senior Program Manager, Freedom of Expression

As 2012 winds down, it is time again to reflect on the year’s human rights developments. Unfortunately, the bad seemed to outweigh the good this year, as many authoritarians held on to power and continued upheaval in the Middle East threatened to derail any democratic progress.

Experts

Signature Reports

Programs

No programs have been associated with this content.