Help Free Rodney Sieh

September 3, 2013

A plea from Professor Ken Harper

Dear Friends,

The publisher of one of the most important news operations on the African continent has been jailed and now hospitalized—and he needs the journalism and academic communities and their powerful friends to stand up for him and with him. 

I am writing you on behalf of Rodney Sieh, publisher and editor of FrontPage Africa, Liberia’s leading investigative newspaper, and a Newhouse School partner.

Sieh was jailed because he was unable to pay a civil lawsuit of $1.5 million USD. After a week-long hunger strike, he was admitted to the hospital in the capital, Monrovia.

I hope that raising awareness about this tragic move against a free press by the government of Nobel Prize winning president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will pressure her to release Sieh.

We have been working closely with the Tully Center for Free Speech, students, international lawyers and the Committee to Protect Journalists to secure Sieh’s release, but I ask you to call upon any resources at your disposal, adding to the pressure on the Liberian Government.

To read more about what happened to Sieh, visit You can sign the live petition at

Thank you,

Ken Harper
Assistant Professor, Newhouse School, Syracuse University