Gov. Warns Radio Station
MONROVIA-The Government of Liberia said its attention has been drawn to a social media post notifying the public of a plan by Radio Bushrod (D15 Radio) to begin hosting Henry Costa, who fled the country in 2020 after a writ was issued for his arrest in a criminal matter. Mr. Costa is still wanted by the law.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Information late Sunday said it has informed the management that Costa is still a fugitive from Liberian justice and at such, cannot host radio programs meant to communicate to Liberian audience while in the United States.
“Any act contrary to said notice will be a violation of the terms of the permit issued by the Ministry of Information and licensing conditions promulgated under the Telecommunications Act of Liberia,” the statement warned.
“Everyone, including broadcasters, has to be held accountable for what they communicate. Article 15 of the Liberian constitution states that “every person shall have the right to freedom of speech, being responsible for the abuse thereof,” it further said. The statement said, If one is injured by a fugitive broadcasting from the United States, there would be no available redress. The Government has a responsibility to protect the public.
“Any station, including D15, which continues in this path in utter violation of the laws of Liberia will have their permit and license revoked. The use of the airwaves is a license, granted by the Liberian government to those who meet prescribed criteria” the statement further warned.
Therefore, the government will leave no stone unturned in the scrupulous implementation of the laws of Liberia, with sensitivity to protecting the rights and obligations of free speech, it concluded.
D15 radio is owned by the late Adolf Lawrence, an opposition lawmaker who died in a car accident over a year ago. His wife, senator, also an opposition from the Liberty Party. The station has been reporting a number of critical stories against the government.