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Journalist released on bail after spending two nights in prison

(CEMESP/IFEX) - A Liberian journalist, Garley Mahn, has been released on bail by police in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County. Journalist Mahn was released following two days in detention.

He was arrested Tuesday, March 2, 2010, in the provincial south-eastern city after he attempted to display placards calling for the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to effect changes in the local administration of the county if progress is to be achieved.

The police commander in the county, Prince Gbarleh, declined telling other journalists the reason for Mahn's arrest but only said that Mahn acted disorderly. Mahn has been charged with disorderly conduct and is to appear in court Monday, March 15, 2010, in Zwedru.

Mahn had gone to express his views on what he saw as the lapses in the administration of the county, led by Superintendent Christopher Bailey. The police are said to have acted on the orders of Mr. Bailey.

Mahn once served as deputy station manager of the Smile FM Community Radio in the city before he and others were summarily dismissed by Superintendent Bailey three years ago in what was seen as a campaign to hush the station for its radical reportage of the mismanagement and corruption of the county's resources.

Mahn's arrest and subsequent detention comes on the heels of the visit of the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the city on the latest leg of her South-Eastern Counties tour, where she also held a cabinet retreat in Zwedru.

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