CEMESP fosters cooperation between Liberian journalists and security forces
Participants at the symposium, "Complementing Roles and Responsibilities of Media Practitioners and Security Personnel in Fostering Media Freedom in Liberia" acknowledged the immense contribution the free press makes to the issues of accountability, transparency and public debate, in order to develop a democracy. They also urged journalists to be professional and ethical, and to respect personal privacy "so as not to inspire fear in any vulnerable group." Security personnel were asked not to hide behind the law in order to crack down on journalists.
CEMESP adds that of 26 attacks reported in its 2009 "Report on Attacks on Free Expression in Liberia", five were directly linked to police actions, while others were executed by security based on orders from government actors.
Participants reaffirmed a determination to work to ensure the protection of free speech and press freedom as laid down in the constitution. Representatives of the government expressed their intention to work with the media "to foster friendship and ensure professionalism."