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CEMESP calls for further investigation of murder plot against journalist as details emerge of corruption and bribery during probe

(CEMESP/IFEX) - The following is a CEMESP press release:

CEMESP Seeks Further Investigation in Corruption & Bribery Allegations Linked To Death Threats on Journalist

Monrovia, February 13, 2008: The Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) is concerned about emerging trends in the reported assassination attempts against independent Newspaper Editor Sam Dean, and wants further investigations in the matter.

CEMESP recalls the arrest of the perpetrators and does not understand why further investigation and prosecution have not commenced, despite the "confessions" of the perpetrators, in the full view of the media and police.

CEMESP's concerns follow recent publications of a catalog of attacks on media, and we believe the government must act promptly and professionally in disabusing the public of the notion that the government is targeting elements of the press for elimination.

CEMESP notes that the discovery on one of the "assassins" of a Government of Liberia ID card is further reason why this investigation must continue.

All the same, CEMESP is stunned by the clear show of apathy being shown by Mr. Dean in a mater that was seen to border around his life, as he worked in the interest of the state.

CEMESP's disgust is backed by information, corroborated by Dean, that the culprits have since been released from further detention with his (Dean's) full knowledge and acquiescence.

This development is troubling and brings back to the fore allegations of cover-ups and bribery that have dominated activities of the current government.

That government functionaries would bribe out victims after threats to their lives is disgusting and a show of wanton disregard for human life and dignity.

Emerging reports of the collusion of Dean in this matter is disappointing, shameful, brings journalism in Liberia to an all time low, and questions his beliefs in the sanctity of his very life.

Further, CEMESP is concerned that the degeneration of a corruption report to life threats, cover-ups and bribery explains the decadence of Liberian society that needs to be corrected.

CEMESP now calls upon the Liberian media and the Ministry of Justice to follow-up this investigation of corruption, death threats and bribery and ensure justice and sanity in this country.

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