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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More