RIA Police Brutalize Protesting College Students, Threaten Journalist for Capturing Disturbing Scene – Latest Liberian News

ROBERTSFIELD, Margibi County – Police assigned at the Roberts International Airport Depot have been accused of brutalizing aggrieved students of Harbel College in Margibi County.

The incident happened recently when the students assembled at the main intersection leading to the airport and Harbel to demand the school’s authorities to reopen their school.

But our correspondent who was on the scene said the police, in an effort to stop the students from setting up roadblocks, began brutalizing them. One of the female officers claimed that a student injured her in the process, and in retaliation, she unmercifully beat the student. She tortured and dragged the student to the depot.

As the student’s protesting colleagues followed them to the depot and called on the police to stop torturing their colleague, the police chased the students, leaving several of them to injured. Some of them were arrested and sent to court for rioting, disorderly conduct and obstruction of traffic.

Meanwhile, K-news’ correspondent Emmanuel Kangar Jr., was threatened by one of the officers as he attempted capturing the police torturing the students. Kangar said the female officer warned him not to capture the disturbing scene and when he ignored her, she told him that he will get his reward for always covering protests.

She said: “You will see. Enh You always covering protest? You will see what will happened to you.” Karngar said he felt threatened by the police officer’s statement, especially coming at a time police brutality against journalists and peaceful citizens is common.

Kangar, who also works at Peace Radio in Harbel, has since complained the incident to Peace FM and CT Com Liberia Limted , the owner of Kool FM and K-news online. He has also complained to the Press Union of  Liberia and the Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL).

State security’s brutality against peaceful citizens including journalists is on the increase. The U.S. State Department 2022 Human Rights report on Liberia says there were several reports that the government of Liberia or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings.

The report captured two incidents where police killed unarmed civilians. One of the incidents occurred June 13, 2022 when police killed Rufus Fongbeh, an unarmed civilian, in Kakata, Margibi County.

Following an investigation, two LNP officers were formally stripped of duties pending further disciplinary action. On July 4, LNP officer James Togba shot and killed Orlando Broh, an unarmed civilian in Monrovia. According to court records, Togba committed the killing during a botched attempt to extort money from drug addicts. After the LNP dismissed Togba from the force, he was indicted and charged with murder. Togba was awaiting trial at year’s end.

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