The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

ANC, UP Condemn Closure of Roots FM

Two opposition parties- the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and Unity Party have condemned the closure of ROOTS FM owned And operated by Henry Costa.
In press release issued yesterday, the ANC said, ‘the Alternative National Congress (ANC) strongly condemns the invasion, break-in, illegal confiscation of the equipment, and arbitrary closure of Roots FM
“ANC emphasizes that the illegal confiscation of Roots FM equipment and its closure violate Article 20 of the Liberian Constitution which says that “no person shall be deprived of …property …except as the outcome of a hearing judgement consistent with…and in accordance with due process of law…”
“ANC says, as evidenced by video footage placing a court sheriff on the scene of the incident, we wonder whether or not Roots FM was accorded due process of law in a court of competent jurisdiction, prior to government’s action.
“ANC argues that, assuming without admitting, that the government’s action was sanctioned by a court of law, based on the presence of a court officer at the premises of Roots FM, the manner and form employed by the government was lawless and provocative. For example, loud sound was heard of a forceful break-in and pounding of the iron gate of Roots FM..
“ANC further contends that even if the action of the government was predicated on government’s argument that Roots FM is operating without a valid license, Roots FM is entitled to due process of law; that is, to be cited and heard by court before any punishment is meted against Roots FM,” the press release said.
For its part, the Unity Party condemned the closure of a privately owned radio station, Roots FM, by the government of Liberia. Press Freedom and Freedom of Speech are fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Liberia and any infringement on such right is a gross violation of the constitution.
“Even in the unlikely event were a writ was served by a court of competent jurisdiction for the closure of Roots FM, there is no law anywhere in Liberia that calls for the vandalism of any station or property. Sadly, what we witnessed this morning was a STATE SPONSORED ACT OF VANDALISM carried out by heavily armed police force that has been turned into a PARTISAN POLICE FORCE and an institution that is now being used to clamp down on press freedom and freedom of speech.
“Private stations are one of the media through which ordinary citizens and members of the oppositions freely express themselves as the station (ELBC) sponsored through tax payers’ money is a no go zone for oppositions and critical voices. The closure of Roots FM by the government through the use of force by heavily armed police officers shows how serious the George Weah led government is in clamping down on free speech and freedom of the press.
“As we edge closer to the 2020 Senatorial election, the government has designed a grand plan to ensure that the voices of the poor suffering masses and the opposition community are silenced. Not only that the government intends to silence the voices of the people but also to put ordinary Liberians out of job in an economy that is worsening on a daily basis due to poor leadership, unprecedented high level of corruption and the ineptness of the economic management team.
“The UP will work with members of the Collaborating Political Parties to explore all legal and political means to ensure the reopening of Roots FM. We also call on the Independent Human Rights Commission to launch an immediate investigation into this matter as it is a direct infringement on the rights of the people and the opposition to freely express themselves,” said the press release.

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