Armed Forces of Liberia Arrests Deputy NSA Director Sam Siryon over Criticisms of Chief of Staff on Freedom FM
Armed Forces of Liberia Arrests, Interrogates Deputy NSA Director Sam Siryon over Criticisms of Chief of Staff on Freedom FM
The Deputy Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), who also happens to be the owner of the pro-government Freedom FM, was taken into custody by the Armed Forces of Liberia on Thursday. This action followed a controversial broadcast on his FM station, which implicated the Army Chief of Staff as an operative of opposition leader Joseph Boakai.
During his regular talk show this week, Mr. Abraham Wheon of Freedom FM insinuated that members of the Armed Forces did not vote for Pres. George Weah in the October 10 presidential elections due to the ill-treatment they had been getting from the Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Prince C. Johnson, III.
According to Wheon, he has a stockpile of information on activities happening in the barracks including the decommissioning of over 20 officers by Maj. Gen. Johnson.
Wheon added that he was also aware that the army chief is a supporter of Mr. Joseph Boakai, the standard bearer of the opposition Unity Party.
Confirming his arrest, the NSA Deputy Director Sam Siryon, told FrontPageAfrica that he was humiliated by the soldiers.
“I was arrested and humiliated by the Armed Forces of Liberia. I was taken to a room where the Minister of Justice was seated and made to listen to a recording of a Freedom FM broadcast in which Abraham Wheon allegedly made some comments against the army. I was told to have the station retract the broadcast but I refused on grounds that I was disrespected and humiliated. I was stripped of my clothes and shoes and told them I could not act under duress. I feel so humiliated and disturbed,” Siryon said.
When contacted, Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean told FrontPageAfrica Siryon was invited by the AFL for questioning surrounding his link with Freedom FM and if he had provided the station any information to broadcast.
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica about the controversial broadcast, Wheon said what he disclosed during the controversial broadcast was not given his boss.
He says, “I wish to address the growing concerns surrounding my recent broadcast concerning the Chief of Staff of the AFL, Gen. Prince C. Johnson III. In that broadcast, I made certain claims based on circumstantial incidents, including an audio recording where the COS criticized the government’s tuition-free initiative, suggested that people had advised him to consider a military takeover due to the President’s prolonged absence from the country, and a recent post by Eugene Fagohn indicating that the COS had walked out of a joint security meeting. I now retract these statements and offer my sincere apologies for any embarrassment they may have caused to the reputation of the COS and the military. I also acknowledge and respect the Press Statement released by the Press Union of Liberia on this matter.”
The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence, Liberian communications networks and information systems. The NSA relies on a variety of measures to accomplish its mission, the majority of which are clandestine.