MONROVIA: The Press Union of Liberia has mediated disputes which marred the live broadcast of Voice of Liberia (VOL) public service program at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with findings stating that the Diplomatic Security Service used disproportionate force against VOL journalists.
Voice of Liberia, a privately-owned broadcaster in Monrovia is currently surprising the country with its early morning prime time broadcast before government ministries and agencies in an effort to draw public attention to the ‘inefficiency of some presidential appointees’ across government. There have been reports of lateness across the civil service with presidential appointees reporting to work at their own choosing and sometimes adopting remote working approaches.
During one of such public service broadcasts, a Voice of Liberia Crew led by its Chief Executive Officer, Sekou Sheriff, was attacked and bullied by agents of the Diplomatic Security Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs damaging some outside broadcast equipment.
A well- built muscular serviceman of the Diplomatic Security Service admitted to blocking and subsequently seizing the VOL camera (Samsung Galaxy –s9+Phone) during the Friday, 18th March 2022 hearing between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Voice of Liberia held at the PUL Headquarters.
The Diplomatic Security Service agents also seized an extended microphone and damaged an iPhone -8+ which dropped from the pocket of a cameraman when he was attacked.
At the end of Friday’s mediation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, agreed to return the Samsung Galaxy –s9+Phone and replace the iPhone -8+ and the extended microphone damaged during its agents’ prevention of VOL journalists working from the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry.
Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister, Atty. Rosetta Nagbe Jackollie regretted the situation and apologized to the Voice of Liberia Management for the overreaching conduct of the security officers although they acted in line with policies at the ministry.
Meanwhile, PUL’s President Charles Coffey has welcomed the Foreign Ministry’s apology and its acceptance to take full responsibility to replace damaged equipment belonging to the Voice of Liberia. The PUL President however cautioned the Voice of Liberia to treat foreign affairs matters within the realm of social responsibility theory to country considering that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deals with foreign dignitaries daily for the good of country.