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Liberia news

Lawmaker orders flogging of journalists

One of the lawmakers believed to be a loyalist of embattled House Speaker Alex Tyler on Monday ordered the flogging of Journalists Nathaniel Daygbor of the New Dawn and Roland Perry of the Homeland newspaper.

Lawmaker orders

The Tyler loyalist, Maryland County Electoral District #3 Representative, Bishop Isaac Roland gave the order upon identification of Mr. Daygbor by Nimba County Representative Saywah Worlea Dunah, as the author of a story in which several lawmakers were accused of receiving US4000 bribe each from Tyler to win their supports. Tyler currently faces bribery charges.

The scene was the Capitol Building, where Tyler was fighting to explain his US75, 000 bribery indictment based on a Global Witness report to local journalists during a press conference. The Global Witness reported alleges that Tyler received US75, 000 from Sable Mining, a British firm to help change a concession law in the firm’s favor here. The money was allegedly given to him by Senator Varney Sherman, the ruling Unity Party’s Chairman who was then serving as Sable Mining lawyer. Both men have been indicted.

However, Rep. Roland who was seated in a chair ahead of the reporter, upon identifying him turned around while still seated and threatened to deal with the reporter in a way that he (Daygbor) will never forget in his entire life spin.

“Daygbor, I will deal with you in a way that you will not forget it for the rest of your life,” Rep. Bishop Roland of Maryland said in his threat to the reporter. His verbal threats drew the attention of reporter Perry, who immediately photographed the Bishop as he made his threat as a way of putting him on record. Reporter Perry’s action did not go down well with the Bishop, turned politician who will soon order the flogging of both reporters.

And so, while walking out of the conference at the end of Tyler’s interaction with the press, Rep. Roland walked straight up to reporters Daygbor and Perry raining insults.  The Bishop soon went out of control, physically pulling the necktie of reporter Perry, as he ordered some unknown men to physically beat up both Daygbor and Perry.

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It took the intervention of other reporters at the scene to rescue the two reporters from the hands of the Bishop’s hired tugs. The incident prompted the Legislative Press Pool or LEGISPOL to immediately issue a press statement condemning the threat and subsequent attacks on the reporters by the Maryland County lawmaker.

In their statement, the group noted that the leadership and the entire membership of LEGISPOL categorically condemned the attack against the two journalists and call on the lawmaker to apologize for his unruly behavior.  “We see this attack against our colleagues as a complete act of violence and hooliganism which has no place in the civilized world. We want to use this medium to call on the leadership of the House of Representatives to reprimand Rep. Roland for his brutal action against peaceful journalists who were exercising their reportorial duties. LEGISPOL will formally write the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia to complain Rep. Roland for his uncivilized behavior against the Liberian media,” the statement said.

-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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