8 August 2017

Liberia: Two People Arrested in Connection With Campaign Violence

Monrovia — Two persons have been arrested in Paynesville City by the Zone- 9 Depot-1 detachment of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in connection with the alleged flogging of a partisan of the ruling Unity Party (UP).

Suspects Alpha Jalloh and Barrie, as identified, were arrested in the early morning hours of Monday August 7, 2017 in the Bassa Town Community for their alleged involvement in the flogging of William Theophilus Gorson, who had gone to post the banner of his political leader, Aspirant Norris Tweah of District#5 Montserrado County, when he was attacked.

In an interview with FrontPage Africa (FPA), William Theophilus Gorson said he was attacked in the Bassa Town Community by some unknown individuals on Friday, August 4, 2017, at about 3: 45 pm, while arguing with two guys who had torn up the banner he had posted on a bakery.

"I was posting Unity party banner up in my Community, Bassa Town Community in Redlight District#5 when I was attacked."

"When I went to the bakery, I asked the owner of the bakery to kindly allow me to post my banner on his bakery, so he gave me the authority because other political party's banners were there."

"So, I posted the banner, but when I went further two guys came from the bakery and torn down the banner, saying to me, that youth government we want," he said.

Gorson also added that the attack was carried out by seven men, one of whom attempted to stab him in the chest with a scissor before his colleagues arrived on the scene for his rescue.

"When I posted the banner, two guys came from the bakery and tore down the banner."

"So, I called my colleagues in the other block who were posting their banner, while in the process, one of them hit me in the chest."

"It was how all of them started kicking me all over my body. When I got up one of them took a scissor to stab me in the chest, but mistakenly stab me on my thigh," Gorson lamented.

Also speaking in an interview with FPA, the Chairman of Block 'B' Bassa Town Community, Edward S. Pennoh told FPA that the banner was brought down and torn by a man whom he did not identify.

"It was last week when they came here and posted Aspirant Norris Tweah poster. Within a minute, another guy came and took the poster from the bakery and tore it down and said I don't like this man. So a friend of mine decided to raise the alarm, so Theo went to the man, and the man told him sorry, but a little portion of the poster was torn," he said.

For his part, Aspirant Norris Tweah condemned the alleged flogging of his supporter who was exercising his political right, emphasizing that any attempt to stop anybody for exercising their political right by tearing his fliers or stickers is against law.

"First of all, we will like to categorically condemn any act of electoral violence perpetrated on anybody who is exercising his or her political franchise to put fliers or stickers of any candidate of his or her choice. Any attempt to do such is against the law," Aspirant Tweah said.

Aspirant Norris Tweah said the Unity Party respects the right of every citizen and believes that every Liberians have the right to promote any candidate of their choice, urging all Liberians to desist from elections violence.

"As a candidate and a member of the Unity Party, we have advised all of our members, supporters, and sympathizers to astute any form of violence during this elections process, because it is not healthy for our democracies, it leads to serious injury and can be very dangerous to the peace and stability of our country.

"So, we condemn this act to the strongest possible term," he added.


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