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Liberia journo held after criticising president

04 July 2014, 10:49

Monrovia - The editor of a Liberian newspaper critical of the government and family of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been arrested, a police source said on Thursday.

Friends and colleagues of Octavin Williams claim the journalist was detained after he published an article on two of Sirleaf's sons.

Williams criticised Fumba Sirleaf in Wednesday's edition of Nation's Time following the arrest of immigration officers who reportedly leaked to the press the fact that his brother Robert - a US citizen - was seeking Liberian documents enabling him to run in forthcoming general elections.

Robert Sirleaf, who resigned last year as chairman of the state oil company amid allegations of nepotism, has since been named presidential envoy to Kuwait.

In an interview with UN radio last week, Sirleaf angered many Liberians by admitting that the majority of government ministers held US passports.

Kamara Kamara, president of Liberia's journalism syndicate, told AFP that Williams' detention was "intimidation pure and simple and a violation of [his] rights".

Deputy police chief Abraham Kromah said Williams had been stopped on a traffic offence while driving a vehicle with foreign number plates.

"I asked him to follow me to the station. He refused and insulted me," Kromah told reporters.



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