News / Africa

    Jailed Liberian Publisher Hospitalized

    FrontPage Africa editor Rodney Sieh (left) escorted by a marshal (right)FrontPage Africa editor Rodney Sieh (left) escorted by a marshal (right)
    x
    FrontPage Africa editor Rodney Sieh (left) escorted by a marshal (right)
    FrontPage Africa editor Rodney Sieh (left) escorted by a marshal (right)
    James Butty
    The publisher of the FrontPage Africa print and online newspaper of Liberia was hospitalized late Tuesday at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia after being taken there from his prison cell.

    Authorities jailed Rodney Sieh a week ago after he said he could not afford to pay a $1.5 million fine imposed by the Supreme Court after finding him guilty of libeling then Agriculture Minister J. Chris Toe.  

    FrontPage Africa editor Wade Williams said authorities were not allowing relatives to see Sieh at the hospital.

     “I received a call almost past 1 o’clock this morning from someone at the hospital who said Rodney was brought here by people at the Monrovia Central Prison.  And so, I hurriedly came and there were other people who were here, including some of Rodney’s relatives,” she said.
    Butty interview with Williams
    Butty interview with Williamsi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    Williams said security forces guarding the hospital prevented her from seeing Sieh.  But she said his lawyer and former Liberian Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods was allowed to see Sieh.

    Williams said she was told afterward that Sieh was brought to the hospital after he fell sick and started vomiting.  She said he was later diagnosed with malaria.

    There have been rumors that Sieh had gone on a hunger strike to protest his arrest and imprisonment. But, it was not immediately clear whether his hospitalization was the result of the hunger strike.

    Toe sued FrontPage Africa in 2010 after the paper reported what it said were the findings of an official government investigation which accused the then agriculture minister of corruption.

    In his complaint to the court, Toe said FrontPage Africa libeled him, even though he was never tried and convicted of any crime.

    Many legal analysts say FrontPage Africa should have encouraged its lawyers to appear before the Supreme Court when the case was considered. Instead, Sieh chose not to on the grounds that the legal system was biased against him.

    Press Union of Liberia President Peter Quaqua said Sieh should apologize to the Supreme Court but not to the former agriculture minister.

    Quaqua said the union will continue to be an advocate for the rule of law and will at all times encourage journalists who come into conflict with the law to submit to the legal system.

    But, he said the union will not support the outcome of a court hearing that violates the basic rights of Liberians.

    Sieh told Williams from his prison cell that he will not apologize to Toe. Instead he said he wants the former minister to be prosecuted for alleged corruption.

    Sieh also said he will not negotiate his release until FrontPage Africa is allowed to resume publishing.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora