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Editorial

Detainee’s Death: Speeding up the Investigative Process to Avoid Hasty Judgment

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Circumstances surrounding the death of Police detainee Victoria Zayzay remain unsubstantiated. Since her death in police custody on October 20, 2015, family members and the public are yet to be told what actually killed Victoria even though the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Justice, has reportedly performed two autopsies on the deceased’s body.

While the Liberia National Police had suggested that Miss Zayzay was found helpless in a cell at the Zone 6 sub-station in Virginia, outside Monrovia on October 20, 2015 in an “attempted suicide”, a challenging resistance by the deceased parents pointed accusing fingers at the police with the belief that the victim may have been sexually abused in the cell and subsequently strangulated to death.

Amid the foregoing accounts, the government was under the obligation to ensure an autopsy for the establishment of facts surrounding the cause of death – something the government may have done.

But up to the moment, there is no definite result of the tow autopsies performed by the government – a situation tantamount to raising eye-brows at the government’s sincerity in ensuring transparent justice in the mysterious death of Victoria Zayzay.

While it is understood that the matter may not be as simple as one would think, the delays characterizing its investigation may also be sending unfavorable signals to family members and the general public.

Such unfavorable signals would also be interpreted in various ways depending on the understanding of members of the public. Moreover, the credibility of the Liberia National Police in protecting life and property will not only be continuously questioned, confidence in Liberia’s Justice System will also continue to erode in the minds of Liberians and others.

If would be very prudent and image-saving for the Liberia National Police, the Justice System and Government of Liberia at large, if the results of the two autopsies reportedly performed were to be released either to the public or family of the deceased.

But to further suggest any other process on the remains of Victoria Zayzay, while her parents and other family members endlessly await receipt of her body for interment, would only create suspicion and hasty judgment against the government.

The government, through the Ministry of Justice must speed up the process and ‘call spade, a spade’ so that the issue of the death of Ms. Victoria Zayzay can be laid to rest. 

 

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