The Press Union of Liberia is delighted to learn of President George M. Weah’s resubmission to the National Legislature a seeking “to repeal some sections of the Penal Law of Liberia in an effort to decriminalize free speech and create an unfettered media environment” in Liberia.
The bill seeks to amend Chapter 11 of Penal Law of 1978, repealing Sections 11.11 on criminal libel against the President; 11.12 on Sedition and 11.14 on criminal malevolence.
In a statement issued in response to the resubmission, the PUL sees this latest presidential action on efforts aimed at decriminalizing speech offenses in Liberia as a jump start to enhancing freedom of expression.
The Union is honored by the professed goodwill of President Weah to name the draft criminal repeal in honor of PUL immediate past President Kamara Abdullai Kamara in recognition of the fallen free speech activist.
K. Abdullai Kamara was an outstanding voice in the advocacy to improve the legal and operational environment of the media in Liberia and the PUL commends President Weah for the recognition of such national works.
At the same time, the Press Union of Liberia has commanded the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives for the introduction of the bill seeking to repeal some section of Liberia’s Criminal Panel Code.
The Bill was introduced in the House on Tuesday and sent to the House’s Committee on Judiciary for study and report to plenary in two weeks.
The repeal action when effected will not represent the taking off the books of defamation but allow people their constitutional right to seek redress in civil courts when feeling offended by orations and writings.