Liberia: Rodney Sieh jailed for libel, facing effective life sentence; fears for health

English PEN shares PEN International’s concerns for the health and well-being of Rodney Sieh, founder and editor of award-winning newspaper FrontPageAfrica, who was jailed on 21 August 2013 because he was unable to pay US$1.5 million in libel damages to a former minister. Sieh, who has been on hunger strike since his imprisonment, was hospitalised for three weeks after vomiting and fainting in his prison cell; he has since been diagnosed with malaria.

For more information on Rodney Sieh’s case, please visit the PEN International website.

TAKE ACTION

Sign the petition

Please sign and share the petition calling for the release of editor Rodney Sieh, jailed in Liberia for exposing corruption.

Send letters of appeals

  • Condemning the excessively high fine handed down to FrontPageAfrica founder and editor Rodney Sieh for alleged libel, and his subsequent imprisonment on 21 August 2013 due to his inability to pay;
  • Expressing concern for Sieh’s health and asking that the Liberian authorities ensure that he is provided with adequate medical care;
  • Urging President Johnson Sirleaf to review Sieh’s case in order to facilitate his release and the re-opening of his newspaper, and, in line with Article 21 of Liberia’s Constitution, to adopt libel damages commensurate with the harm caused and refrain from imprisoning defendants who are unable to pay;
  • Also urging the president to repeal criminal defamation laws in Liberia, in line with the commitment she made when signing the Declaration of Table Mountain in July 2012.

Appeals to

H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President of the Republic of Liberia
Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs
Executive Mansion
P.O. Box 9001
Capitol Hill, Monrovia
Republic of Liberia
Email: info@emansion.gov.lr

Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Hon. Christiana H. Tah
Contact form: http://www.moj.gov.lr/contact

His Excellency Mr. Wesley M. Johnson
Embassy of the Republic of Liberia
23 Fitzroy Square
London
W1T 6EW
Email: info@embassyofliberia.org.uk
Contact form: http://www.embassyofliberia.org.uk/contact/
Fax: 0207 380 1593

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

View all posts by Cat Lucas →

2 Comments on “Liberia: Rodney Sieh jailed for libel, facing effective life sentence; fears for health”

  1. I am appealing to the Liberian government and the president of that country to listen to the voices of the people and the world and set Rodney free. There is absolutely no reason for keeping him incarcerated. Rodney is a fine, hard working, respectful and humble person. Ellen please don’t wait for God to come down and beg you, do what is right in His sight.

  2. PEN welcomes the permanent release of Rodney Sieh, founder and editor of award-winning newspaper FrontPageAfrica, who was jailed on 21 August 2013 because he was unable to pay a fine equivalent to US$1.5 million in libel damages to former agriculture minister Chris Toe. Sieh was permanently released from Monrovia Central Prison on 8 November 2013 after negotiations led to Toe agreeing to waive all judgement, money and claims against Sieh. The release was formalised in a court hearing on 18 November, which also ordered the re-opening of Sieh’s newspaper.

    http://www.pen-international.org/newsitems/liberia-veteran-journalist-permanently-released-newspaper-re-opened/

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