[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1]

GeneralLiberia news

STAND wants police commanders prosecuted over Kinjor shooting

STAND has categorically rejected the police’s report from the Kinjor incident and demanded the arrest and prosecution of all officers who bear responsibility for the violence.

Monrovia, May 2, 2024: STAND, a prominent civil society organization fighting for justice and accountability in Liberia, is demanding the prosecution of the commanders of the police team that confronted rioters in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount.

Some of the rioters died, and some police officers sustained wounds in the violence that erupted at the Bea Mountain Mining Company.

Residents of the company’s host county have been angry about its operations, leading them to a protest that later became tragic.

STAND has released its investigative report detailing police alleged brutality against protesters and the gross violation of workers’ rights by the management of Bea Mountain Company in Kinjor.

The STAND report, impartially and meticulously compiled by a team of professional investigators, alleges bad labor practices by Bea Mountain based on a fact-finding mission to Kinjor.  

The STAND report established discriminatory pay benefits between ordinary Liberians and low-level non-Liberian workers.

It also detailed high levels of inequalities and huge disparities among the general workforce, resulting in poverty wage earnings among ordinary Liberian workers. 

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1]

Despite Bea Mountain’s huge profit margins accumulated from the extraction of the county’s mineral resources, Grand Cape Mount County remains underserved and woefully scarred by the trappings of poverty, the lack of good healthcare, and poor or no sanitary facilities.

Except for expatriates and foreigners who live in separate, better housing units, ordinary Liberian workers live in makeshift homes without access to safe drinking water or a hybrid toilet facility. 

STAND indicated that these debilitating conditions, workplace prejudices, and intimidation faced by the affected workers created an atmosphere of dissatisfaction and dissent among workers, leading to the Kinjor protest of 29 February 2024.

“While STAND acknowledges that the tense atmosphere between protesters and management may have necessitated the deployment of members of the Liberia National Police, the protest being legitimate, was largely peaceful until the police’s use of tear gas canisters and batons,” STAND alleged. 

“Hence, on 28 February 2024, day one of the planned peaceful protest, police dispersed protesters, chasing them from their homes into bushes till nightfall,” it added.

On day two, 29 February 2024, protesters attempted to reassemble at the entrance of the township of Kinjor. Still, they were allegedly met with the sporadic discharge of gunfire from officers of the Liberia National Police under the command of Mr. George Fahnbulleh, a Police Support Unit commander dispatched at Kinjor during the outbreak. 

Quoting multiple witnesses, STAND said Commander Fahnbulleh, who is said to be a Bea Mountain’s monthly compensation beneficiary,  apart from his regular Police salary, allegedly shot and killed a protester identified as Abraham. 

“STAND’s report verified eyewitnesses’ accounts that the significant escalation of violence and bloodshed was driven by the unwarranted use of excessive force by the Police against protesters, which was authorized by Grand Cape Mount County Police Commander Joseph Soko Mulbah,” the group claimed further. 

Commander Mulbah allegedly shot at point-blank range and allegedly killed a school-age boy gruesomely, STAND alleged. 

“This boy had bravely and selflessly attempted a rescue of a dying colleague left bleeding to death from police’s bullet wounds,” it claimed.

With the death of three protesters and fifteen others injured, STAND reported that things quickly escalated, leaving the Kinjor police sub-office completely burnt down to ashes. 

“STAND categorically condemns all forms of violence and demands that perpetrators be held accountable, especially lawless and violent elements of the Liberia National Police who must bear the brunt of the provocation of violence in Kinjor,” it noted. 

STAND said its assessment of the initial protest as peaceful is further corroborated by a commissioned report of the Legislature, which highlights the protest’s peaceful nature and renders it a legitimate protester’s grievance.

“Furthermore, the legislature’s report on the Kinjor incident echoes STAND’s findings, emphasizing the need for justice and accountability for the victims.” 

“Therefore, STAND categorically rejects this biased portrayal from the LNP and calls for the immediate arrest and prosecution of  PSU Commander George Fahnbulleh, Grand Cape Mount County Police Commander Joseph Soko Mulbah, and anyone that may have been linked to the violent escalation in Kinjor,” the group said.

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=2] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=3] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=4] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=5] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=6]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 + 7 =

Back to top button