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Senator condemns suicide in police cell

Sen.G.Doe Sherif NDThe office of the Senior Senator of Montserrado County Geraldine Doe Sherif has condemned as “mysterious” the death of 21-year old Victoria Zayzay alleged to have committed suicide in police cell.

Senator Sherif also called on Liberia National Police Director Chris Massaquoi and Justice Minister Benedict Sarnoh to immediately launch a full-skill investigation into such mysterious death. The Montserrado County Lawmaker also urged all rights groups, as well as the President of Liberia, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Women Legislative of the 53rd Legislature, civil social groups, the media and well meaning Liberians to rise up and seek justice for Victoria ZayZay’s family for her death.

Family and community sources are disputing accounts provided by the Liberia National Police about the death of a 21-year old female detainee in a police station along the Banjor Road in Virginia, outside Monrovia.
The police claimed that the young women hung herself in the cell, while family members are refuting such claims, urguing that she was allegedly raped and strangulated to death. According to the police, she hung herself in the cell and while being rushed to the Redemption Hospital in Ndew Kru Town, she was pronounced dead.

Police spokesman Sam Collins, said the late Zaysay was found helpless in the cell on Wednesday, October 21, where she was detained for alleged criminal mischief on the night of her detention. However, sources in the Virginia community where the victim resided prior to her incarceration, indicated that the she was member of a susu club or a local self-help financial organization, allegedly indebted to the head of the club in the amount of L$1,500, adding that her failure to pay the money led the susu mother to have taken her to the police where she was subsequently charged and detained.

According to them, on Tuesday – the day the deceased was taken to the station, police officers on duty that night, deserted the station to watch a live soccer champion’s league match, when the inmates allegedly committed suicide in the cell.

But other sources alleged that the deceased was sexually abused by officers on duty that night at the police station and strangulated to death in a bid to destroy evidence. However, Police spokesman Collins dismissed such claims as baseless, arguing that it was not possible for an entire deport to be left alone without an officer.

By Ben P. Wesee

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