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Lawmaker promises passage of press freedom bill

Sinoe County Representative and Chairman on Information and Broadcasting J. Nagbe Sloh has promised members of the media of the passage of the Kamara Abdullah Kamara Act of Press Freedom.

The late Kamara Abdullah Kamara (KAK) was a president of the Press Union of Liberia, but failed in his re-election bid before he died this year. Rep. Sloh promised the passage of the bill named in honor of Mr. Kamara on Monday, 2 July during hearing on a bill seeking to amend Chapter 11 of the Penal Law of 1978, repealing Sections 11.11
on criminal libel against the President; 11.12 on Sedition and 11.14 on criminal malevolent.The instrument is under scrutiny by the Joint House Committee on Information, Broadcast, Culture and Tourism and Judiciary.Rep. Sloh says he is going to lobby with his colleagues at the House of Representatives to make sure they pass the bill because it is very important.
According to him, when it gets to the Senate, he will do the same.Also speaking, the president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) Mr. Charles Coffey said the repeal of this law will show total press freedom here.
He says the timely passage of this law will serve as a conduit for peace, stability and total unity in the country. According Mr. Coffey, libel is not only used against the media but also against every citizen.
Deputy Information Minister Daniel Gayedyu says the President of the Republic of Liberia Mr. George Manneh Weah has embarked on resolving a lot of issues, one of them being the free speech issue.
He says the uniqueness of re-submitting the instrument is that he’s doing it at the beginning of his administration. He calls on the House of Representatives to passed the bill.
For his part, WAJA president and former PUL president Mr. Peter Quaqua says the repeal of criminal defamation does not merely benefit the press, but also political, social and student activists.
He says it would sustain and strengthen the democratic beliefs, and give effect to the constitutional guarantees of free expression.Mr. Quaqua says Liberia has had two successive democratic elections since the end of the conflict, but progress will amount to nothing if the political process is governed by repressive laws.
By Bridgett Milton--Edited by Winston W. Parley

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