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Over Increasing Threats Against Journalists: PUL Raises ‘Red Flag’

by newsmanager

MONROVIA: The Press Union of Liberia (PUL), says it is shocked at the haste at which threats against journalists are increasing, aimed at undercutting gains made on Safety and Freedom of the Press in Liberia.

On Friday, March 3, 2023, one of Liberia’s top broadcasters, OK FM, informed the PUL of threat issued on the life of one of its reporters, Varney Dukuly, by an unknown individual. The identity of the caller was hidden.
According to OK FM, the incident occurred at about 1:40am on Friday March 2, 2023. Journalist Dukuly has been closely following and reporting on the recent incident that took place at the home of former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, which led to the death of one of her daughters.

OK FM narrated in its complaint to the PUL that the unknown caller asked Journalist Dukuly “are you Varney Dukuly”? When Varney replied in the affirmative, the caller responded “…. you will pay for the story you wrote against the government”. The caller hangs up the phone after Varney asked: “Who are you?”

Varney reports for OK FM radio station; The INDEPENDENT Newspaper and he is also a New Narrative fellow who has followed, and reported on the ongoing trial in Liberia of Gibril Massaquoi, a former official of Sierra Leone’s defunct rebel group, Revolutionary United Front (RUF).

A PUL press release issued recently said “this latest threat brings the number to four journalists whose lives have been threatened since the inception of 2023 which include: Journalist Yawah Jaivey of FrontPage Africa; Sekou V. Sheriff of Voice of Liberia; Lisa Diasey of Women TV-Liberia; and now Varney Dukuly.”
Meanwhile, the Press Union called on the Liberian Government, local and international partners to take keen interest in the escalating threats against journalists ahead of the October 10, 2023, presidential and legislative elections in Liberia.
Journalists, the Union insisted, must be accorded all courtesies and protection in the buildup to the elections.
Journalists reporting evolving issues, the PUL indicated must at all times be guarded by the Liberia National Police and all other state security apparatus while avoiding intimidations to their persons.

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