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Liberia: Government condemns July 26 violence

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice has condemned the clash between its supporters and protesting students from the University of Liberia (UL).

Government supporters calling themselves Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) – Council of Patriots clashed with members of the campus – based Student Unification Party (SUP and left several wounded.

A video of one of the students beaten and stripped naked by the CDC – COP went viral on social media following the attack on Independence Day, 26 July 2022.

A statement issued late Wednesday evening, 27 July by Police Spokesman Moses Carter said the protesting students and the government supporters did not ask the state to provide them security during their gatherings.

“A formal request for any such action is a cardinal requirement by law, which can be conveyed through a written petition to the Ministry of Justice for a permit,” Carter explained.

The Minister of Information Ledgerhood J. Rennie also argued that the Liberia National Police (LNP) Act of 2015 Section III Article 22.86 which deals with Public Order mandates any persons wanting to hold such a march or protest to contact the Minister of Justice.

The government insisted that had such a request been made, it would have acted to ensure public safety and order by scheduling the rival groups at different times.

The government encourages all individuals who witnessed the Tuesday, 26 July violence to assist the police with its investigation. 

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The Attorney General, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean Jr. has accordingly called on the police to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book in keeping with the laws of Liberia. 

“The Government wants to make it clear that while it encourages all citizens to express their views on national issues their methods must be in conformity with law,” the statement said.

“Articles 13 and 15 of the Liberian Constitution guarantee such rights.”

The Ministry of Justice said it has accordingly directed the Inspector General of Police to launch an immediate and full-scale investigation into the incident. 

The statement disclosed that Images of the violence being posted on social media show unwarranted use of force and maltreatment of some participating youths which has no place in the newfound democracy.

Meanwhile, The Liberia National Police says it has with immediate effect launched an investigation into the clashes that took place in front of the United States Embassy near Monrovia on Independence Day.

The Police also expressed concern about a viral video on social media in which a person was seen being mobbed and humiliated. –Press release

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