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Pro – Justina Taylor protesters face charges

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Four of the hundreds of citizens that protested last week demanding the release of alleged kidnapped, raped and tortured victim Justina Taylor from a Catholic – run hospital in Monrovia have been charged by police with multiple offences.

Defendants Mustapha Kromah, Richard Paye, Jerry Paye and Emmanuel Doeyou face charges of riot, obstructing highways and other public passages, disorderly conduct, aggravated assault and criminal mischief.

The charges against the defendants came Monday, 7 October following police’s report over the weekend that some of their officers sustained injuries during clashes with the protesters which were marred by stone throwing from both sides in Oldest Congo Town.

Angry citizens staged a protest last week and clashed with police upon hearing that armed police were deployed at the ST. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Oldest Congo Town to prevent victim Justina Taylor from leaving the hospital.

Justina had reportedly been scheduled to be interviewed at the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia for a possible trip to seek advanced medication in the U.S.

She had been admitted at the Catholic run – hospital after alarming here that she was nearly killed by some unknown men who had allegedly kidnapped, raped and tortured her mercilessly after she made a troubling accusation against ruling party Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Youth League Chair and Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee.

The protesters blocked the main road in Oldest Congo Town and the route leading to the Hospital and clashed with police in demand of the victim’s release.
Justina was later released to her lawyer and other human rights groups following some interventions.

But Police Spokesman Moses Carter told reporters over the weekend that the situation at Oldest Congo Town resulted from an alleged “false alarm” by talk show host Henry Costa of Roots FM. Carter alleged that Costa had falsely alarmed that Justina had been placed under arrest by the police here.

In the charge sheet, police say the four defendants were seen in the midst of a group of protesters on Thursday, 3 October that had gone to forcibly remove Justina from the hospital where police had provided her security through the past three months.

The charge sheet details that Police Superintendent Dixon Kemokai narrated that while at the Hospital, a yellow transport bus arrived at the compound of the health facility but was denied entry by officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU).“Because of the denial, the angry crowd disembarked from the bus and attempted jumping over the hospital fence,” the police charge sheet says.

In the process, the upper bar of the fence got damaged, according to the police. The value of the damaged fence has not been appraised, the charge sheet details.
The police indicate that the angry crowd set roadblocks at the Intersection of Old Road and Catholic Hospital.
In the process of removing the roadblocks, police say some of their officers including Inspector Thomas T. Baryee, Patrolman Abraham B. Socree, CplSeh P. Zolu and Patrolman Romeo Paye were wounded.The accused have been charged and forwarded to court to face trial.By Winston W. Parley

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