By: Antoinette Sendolo
A Liberian journalist who was recently released in the sisterly Republic of Guinea, Mike Jabateh has openly denied the charge of espionage levied against him by the Guinean government.
According to Journalist Jabateh, he did travel to Guinea sometimes ago to sympathize with his family and other relatives for the death of his Aunt when the Guinean ethnic clashes erupted between the Kpelle and the Mandingo tribes that led to his arrest for alleged espionage.
The arrest of Mike Jabateh according to him was based on speculation that ex-ULIMO, NPFL and LURD fighters were planning to attack Guinea and also alleged that his arrest was highly master-minded by the Guinean diplomat in Liberia, who according to him sent a communication to the Guinean government that mercenaries were training in Liberia.
Mr. Jabateh further disclosed that due to the misleading information given by the diplomat, the image of Liberia was then damaged to the extent that any Liberian entering Guinea at that time was automatically considered as a paid agent.
He however described the charge of espionage levied against him as a means of destroying his career as a journalist in Liberia.
Mr. Jabateh noted that his release from jail in N’zerekore was made possible by the Guinean Ambassador in Washington D.C, USA, Liberia’s writer/Author Mr. Nvasekie Konneh, Deputy Police Director for Operations, Mr. Abraham Kromah (LNP) and other stakeholders in the Diaspora and Liberia.
He extended his special thanks to the Managing Editor of the Inquirer Newspaper, Mr. Philip N. Wesseh, the Management of the Public Agenda, the X-Ray Activist, amongst other newspapers’ editorial teams for reporting on his long stay in the Guinean cell.
Journalist Mike Jabateh was arrested in Guinea on July 17, 2013 and was released on August 30, 2013 making it 43 days in detention.
Meanwhile, Mike Jabateh has expressed serious disappointment in the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia for not speaking on his plight while he was in prison and other newspapers for refusing to publish his detention story.