The Professional Standard Division of the Liberia National Police has embarked on an investigation into the recent mal-handling of journalists by officers of the Liberia National Police while on duty in Kakata, Margibi County.
The investigation is on the basis of a communication to the police hierarchy form the Press Union of Liberia after the journalists wrote series of complaints to the PUL, UNMIL and the Government of Liberia seeking redress.
The Journalists include Joseph B. Sackie of the Women Voices Newspaper, Emmanuel Degleh of ELBC, as well as George C. Kollie of Radio Joy Africa and the West African Pilot Newspaper, among others. The investigation which began on September 9, 2015 in Kakata, Margibi County under the auspices of the Professional Standard Division of the LNP and it is still in progress.
Journalist Joseph B. Sackie told the NewDawn last weekend that their complaints were filed with the PUL, with copies to the Margibi County Attorney – also head of security in Margibi, the Ministry of Justice Protection Unit, the Professional Standard Division of the Liberia National Police, UNMIL’s Human Rights and Protection Section, as well as the Independence National Commission on Human Right, among others.
According to him, they (journalists) had received a call from the County Coordinator of the Union Safe Motorcycle Operator of Liberia (USMOL), Joseph Fyiah on August 19, 2015, to attend a news conference in the Buzzi Quarter Community in Kakata to inform the public about two men – Isaac Getemee and Romeo Barclay, accused motorcycle theft.
He stated that while they were at the USMOL Office, three police officers of the Kakata Police detachment arrived and demanded the release of the two men who were also in conversation with them. He claimed that the police officers described them as ‘bush journalists’.
According to him, while attempting to photograph the accused, they were attacked by the police and their electronic gadgets, including smart phone, recorder and camera, among others were destroyed. He farther claimed that the Superintendent of Police of Margibi County,Augustine Leo Warrie, denied the report without any inquiry upon receipt, suggesting that one police officer could not have attacked three journalists, as he drove his vehicle form the scene.
By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. from Margibi