Liberia: Government Seeks Audience with Talk Show Host Over ‘Threats on His Life’

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 11 AM on Wednesday at the Ministry of Information and will also be attended by the national civil society council and the Inter-Religious Council.

Monrovia – The Government of Liberia says its attention has been drawn to a media release by the Press Union of Liberia in which it reported receiving a formal complaint from talk show host T-Max Jlateh alleging threats on his life.  The accounts reported by the Union are startling enough to warrant the government extending invitations to the PUL and Mr. Jlateh in order to ascertain the actual nature of the allegations.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 11 AM on Wednesday at the Ministry of Information and will also be attended by the national civil society council and the Inter-Religious Council.

The administration of President George M. Weah has been working over the last few years to create an enabling environment for all to operate unfettered.

These new allegations bear the potential of unraveling the progress the government has made in improving the media landscape and will not condone any act or conduct that threatens the security of anyone on account of their views, however political, needless to say a well-known talk show host.

President Weah has repeatedly demonstrated his respect for the fundamental human rights of everyone, irrespective of their  association, including Mr.Jlateh, a longtime broadcaster.

In a statement Monday, the PUL says it is troubled about the security of Mr. Jlateh following news of persistent threats of death against him as a result of his stance.

In a complaint dated October 11, 2020 sent to the Press Union of Liberia, Mr. Jlateh states that his life is being threatened as a result of his critical commentaries on societal ills during the rule of the CDC led Government.

“Of late, I and my family have received dozens of death threats mostly from loyalists of this government and pro-Weah zealots, I hold the Weah-led Government fully responsible for these visible threats against my life, this government will account if anything happens to me and any of my family”.

The Sky FM Talk Show host explained that he has observed being under surveillance and being followed by some unidentified vehicles on several drives in and outside Monrovia and noted that these actions by supposed uncover agents have badly restrained his movement and sent shockwaves through the heads of his family of his family members and co-workers with potential danger to his life and feeling.

The communication to the Union furthered that, “In recent times, the threat level against my life have increased with persistent advises and cautions from friends and contacts including security aids within the ruling establishment too be very, very careful about where I go, when I should go home and as well avoid all night outing and gatherings and I have been advised not to attend any function after 7PM”.

Considering the nature of this complaint and others coming from media houses and individual journalists amidst the recent deaths of four auditors, the Press Union of Liberia is again urging the Liberia National Police, (LNP) and other state security actors to ensure the full protection of journalists during and after the special senatorial electioneering period.

The PUL wants politicians and media contents consumers to be very polite and tolerant in their participation to open societal discourses that are contributive to democratic development of the state.

Meanwhile, the Union urges all journalists to discontinue any form of political endorsement of candidates in the ensuing Special Senatorial Elections in order to maintain their credibility and the general trust of the public trust.