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Friday, May 24, 2024

LIBERIA: PUL STATEMENT AHEAD OF TUESDAY, OCT. 10 ELECTION

Date:

Fellow Liberians,

As we approach the 2023 Presidential and General Elections, we want to express our appreciation to the Liberian people for exercising their rights, despite challenging situations in Nimba, Lofa, and Montserrado counties.

In anticipation of the upcoming elections on October 10, 2023, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has released a statement regarding the treatment of journalists and reporters across the country. It is crucial that journalists are treated with respect and provided access to information.

Journalists have been instrumental in providing comprehensive coverage of the electoral process, encompassing political campaigns and giving ordinary Liberians a platform to express their views on national governance objectives.

The PUL emphasizes the crucial role responsible journalism plays in our nation. Journalists are entrusted with upholding ethical standards in their service to the nation and its people. We must not let our people down.

The PUL advocates for open and respectful dialogue regarding the upcoming elections and national security. The Union believes that the media can facilitate this dialogue through in-depth articles, broadcast reports, and analyses, informing democratic decisions made by our leaders.

The Union urgently calls on all individuals, including journalists, to exercise prudence when expressing opinions, ensuring that statements, reporting, and articles are substantiated by verifiable evidence. Maintaining a constructive and credible conversation that serves the nation’s interests and preserves its peace is of paramount importance.

As we approach this critical moment in our nation’s history, the Press Union of Liberia remains committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. We are dedicated to fostering responsible reporting and promoting dialogue that strengthens our democracy, preserving Liberia’s peace and unity.

The Union simultaneously urges political actors and joint security forces to ensure the safety and protection of journalists across the country during and after the polling period. Journalists must receive assistance from security forces and NEC staff at polling precincts throughout the voting process. Polling staff and security forces are the primary authorities for elections and should be respected by all reporters covering the election, following their instructions diligently.

Additionally, the Press Union of Liberia strongly condemns the appalling violence on Somalia Drive on October 8, 2023, resulting in the tragic death of one individual. The Union demands that the Liberia National Police (LNP) conduct a thorough investigation into this senseless act of violence, reportedly involving members of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP). The perpetrators responsible for the loss of life must be held accountable through a fair judicial process in accordance with the law.

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