The Liberia Law Society (LLS) has called on the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and the government of Liberia to make a joint declaration to finalize the reform process that will decriminalize libel and defamation in Liberia by the end of the year.A press release issued yesterday in Monrovia said while the Law Society joins the Press Union in the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, it believes that greater satisfaction will come when laws deemed as archaic, outdated and draconian are changed.The Law Society concurs that both “our Constitution and International Laws provide the boundaries for free speech and press freedom along with concurrent responsibilities.”Moreover, the Law Society commits to continue to work with the Press Union of Liberia and the people of Liberia in the pursuit of reforms of laws that will ensure that the exercise of press freedom and freedom of speech as guaranteed remained unhindered. The Society also acknowledges the collective struggle of all Liberians and friends of Liberia who have been resolute through the years to guarantee the level of political participation, freedom of speech and of the Press that we enjoy today.Over several months now, the Law Society has been conducting research into reforming “our libel and defamation laws. Findings thus far reveal how these laws criminalize free speech and undermine the growth of a democratic culture in Liberia. We must, therefore, work to change them!”The Law Society notes that in spite of various public commitments by the government to support free press, there are worrying signs that suggest gains made in this direction could be reversed.Accordingly, on the day marked World Press Freedom Day, the Law Society calls on the Liberian government to make a solemn pledge not to use any law deemed draconian, archaic and anathema “to our hard won democracy.” The Law Society calls on the government of Liberia to give meaning to the Table Mountain Declaration, which President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf endorsed by annulling any law on “our books which criminalizes free speech.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – UCLA starting junior center Lorenzo Mata limped toward the team bus. He wore a heavy jacket to combat the frigid temperatures and had an ice bag taped to his left hip. Bruins sophomore starting point guard Darren Collison sported a similar ice bag on his left shoulder, then explained why he didn’t play in No. 2 UCLA’s 70-65 loss to West Virginia on Saturday at the WVU Coliseum. With Collison out, freshman Russell Westbrook played a career-high 32 minutes. He went 1 of 11 from the field and scored four points. With Mata out, seldom-used sophomore center Ryan Wright saw action. Backup sophomore center Alfred Aboya played 26 minutes. “I want to play every game, but the best thing is to try and stay healthy for the near future,” Collison said. “I’m going to continue to do my rehab and treatment. I think the best thing was to stay out for this game.” Collison injured his shoulder in the second half Wednesday against USC. He tried to warm up Saturday but was scratched before the game. Mata said he awakened with a sore hip. It loosened up during pregame warumps, but tightened during the first half. Both players talked about heading back to UCLA to be treated for their injuries, and neither knew if they would be ready for this week’s trip to Arizona State and Arizona. The absence of both players put pressure on UCLA’s youth. West Virginia has a notoriously volatile crowd, led by the student section. During a mid-week game against rival Pittsburgh, the crowd taunted Panthers center Aaron Gray by chanting a term that is derogatory toward gay men. So, 80 minutes before Saturday’s tip-off, Mountaineers coach John Beilein addressed the students. He told them the school has made positive strides in changing its reputation the past few years and asked them to represent the school in a positive fashion. When the Bruins took the court for pregame layups, there was a quick chant of “U-S-A, U-S-A,” an obvious reference to a UCLA team with four foreigners. Alfred Aboya and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute are from Cameroon, Ryan Wright is from Canada and Nikola Dragovic hails from Serbia. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!