The NEWS (Monrovia)

22 February 2013

Liberia: Protestors Face Multiple Charges

The Liberia National Police (LNP) have charged nine protesters with multiple charges. The charges include Rioting, Arson, among others.

They were arrested by riot police officers Wednesday during a demonstration at the residence of Finance Minister Amara Konneh.

Addressing a news conference Thursday, Police Director Chris Massaquoi said the protesters were in possession of gasoline, caskets and machetes with the intent to cause arson during their assembly at the residence of Minister Konneh.

Director Massaquoi told journalists that the protesters assembled in front of Minister Konneh's residence with combustible materials and obstructed free passage.

According to him, the police asked the protesters to leave but they refused to do so, thus leaving the police with no alternative but to disperse the crowd in which nine persons were arrested in the process.

Director Massaquoi said though it is the right of individuals to assemble and protest but the police would not allow anyone to engage in violence in the name of peaceful protest.

Asked why the police did not arrest protesters at the residence of Representative Acarous Gray a day earlier, the Police Director said those at Representative Gray's residence were not violent and never had harmful materials, unlike those at Minister Konneh's residence.

Director Massaquoi said the police are investigating the violence protest at Minister Konneh's residence and could make further arrest.

In recent times, there has been accusation and counter accusation from Representative Gray and Minister Konneh accusing each other of sponsoring individuals to attack them.

At the same time, Director Massaquoi has disclosed the arrest of one armed robber with M16 A-2 riffle along with 16 rounds of ammunition.

He said Junior Guah who was arrested in the Doe Community is presently undergoing treatment as a result of mob action by residents of the community.

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