PtG Article 12.04.2007

Liberian sports official attacks journalist in front of congress delegates

Julu Johnson, a sports editor for the Liberian newspaper News, was physically attacked by the deputy secretary general of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) when he went to cover LFA’s recent extra-ordinary congress. The attack took place in full public view of all the delegates.

The LFA’s deputy secretary general, Napoleon Jaeploe, attacked the reporter just before the extra-ordinary congress came to a close, allegedly because Johnson had written an erroneous article against him.

According to the Liberian newspaper, The Inquirer, the attack took place in front of a major crowd, many of whom ran to the rescue of the journalist.

The leadership of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) has condemned the violent attack, and calls it “barbaric and an act of jungle justice.” SWAL has filed a formal complaint to the LFA and is also considering filing a lawsuit against the football association if it does not punish its deputy secretary general.

Meanwhile, the sports writers association urges its members to continue to report the facts and not let themselves lose focus because of  “disgruntled elements within the sporting circle,” The Inquirer reports.

Related article:The dangers of sports journalism