WAJA Seeks Speedy Trial to Know Why Journalist was murdered


The West African Journalists Association has welcomed the arrests and charging to court of the suspected killers of Journalist Tyron Brown, who was found dead in the suburbs of the Capital, Monrovia in the early hours of April 16, 2018.
WAJA says it is concerned about the motive behind the murder of such a young journalist and calls on Liberian authorities to speedily prosecute the matter to determine whether or not he was targeted on account of his job.
WAJA believes it is in the interest of the state to quickly resolve the brutal killing of Tyron to dispel any misgivings about his death and set the tone to fight impunity for crimes against journalists.
“Tyron’s death is not only a worrying concern for other young journalists who are yet to reach their full potentials, but it has a chilling effect on the entire journalism community and other young people in the country,” says WAJA President Peter Quaqua.
While noting the apparent tension between the government and the media in the recent past, WAJA petitions President George Weah not to roll back the gains made in the media landscape over the years of peace, but work towards further enabling the operating environment.
At the same time, WAJA urges solidarity and self-regulation among media practitioners in protecting the media space for public good.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the sub-regional media body observed that pronouncement about upholding press freedom is a necessary first step, but those assertions will come to nothing unless concrete measures are taken to safeguard press freedom.
WAJA submits and challenges the Weah government to act on two media reform instruments currently holdup in the Legislature, (the bills to repeal criminal defamation and to transform the state radio), which could elevate this government’s claims to press freedom.
Aside from the safety of journalists, WAJA says there is no promise about press freedom in Liberia more appealing to regional and international media rights groups other than reforming the legal and regulatory environments of the media.
WAJA is convinced that Liberia can change its status as a country whose press is ‘partly freed’ to free, if it makes the long awaited decision to let go of criminal defamation and the Liberia Broadcasting System, and urges President Weah not to miss the opportunity.