MONROVIA – Veteran Liberian Video journalist Emmanuel Orlind Cooper, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kukatonon Media Incorporated, owner of Kukatonon News, and a senior staff member at the Executive Mansion Press Corp, has received a number of threatening SMS messages.
On Sunday, September 24, 2023, at 7:32 a.m., Mr. Cooper received text messages from the Orange Mobile number 0779080529, which is not saved in his contacts: “The sickness that missed you these few times is not enough; we will get even with you.” The message at 7:46 a.m. continued: “You believe that you are the only one who can work; however, your days are numbered.”
Cooper expressed that he believed that the two text messages were not directed at him because he was out of Liberia and had just undergone surgery, which made him unable to respond to the sender.
“I thought the person who sent the first two text messages had misdirected them to me, but when I received the next set of three text messages on Thursday, September 28, I realized they were after my life,” Cooper told FrontPage Africa in an interview.
On September 28, 2023, the first text was received at 9:46 a.m. and it stated: “As soon as you get back, we are going to get you! You can’t run away from us.” The second was received at 10:01 a.m.: “As a journalist, you are supposed to work in our interest, but since you decided to go the other way, we will deal with you fatally!!!” The final one was received at 12:23 p.m., stating: “We know you and your family moved to Johnsonville, but we will still get to you.”
Journalists in Liberia are in grave danger as the country prepares for its presidential and legislative elections on October 10, 2023. Concerns about the safety of media professionals are growing as Election Day approaches.
According to reports, a variety of threats and attacks have been made against journalists in Liberia recently. This includes physical assault, coercion, and harassment by members of both political parties and regular individuals.