Liberia places restrictions on Ebola coverage

Reporters without government permission to cover outbreak could face arrest under new rules.

    Liberia places restrictions on Ebola coverage
    Journalists could be prosecuted for contacting Ebola patients without permission [AFP]

    Liberia's government has said that journalists will now need official permission to cover the Ebola outbreak under new rules aimed at protecting patient privacy.

    The move was announced on Thursday, the same day an American cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia became the first foreign journalist to test positive for Ebola. There was no indication that the new rules were related to that case.

    Growing international media interest in the outbreak, which has killed nearly 2,000 people and infected 3,696 in Liberia, has highlighted the challenges to the West African country's health-care system.

    Journalists could be arrested and prosecuted if they fail to get written permission from the health ministry before contacting Ebola patients, conducting interviews or filming or photographing health-care facilities, officials said.

    "We have noted with great concern that photographs have been taken in treatment centres while patients are going in to be attended by doctors. That is invasion of the dignity, privacy and respect of patients," Tolbert Nyenswah, assistant minister of health and head of Liberia's Ebola Incident Management, said.

    "Ebola patients are no different from any other patients. We should do that [report] under permission so that we don't just take pictures or send out stories of naked people [in a way] that does not respect their privacy," he said.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.