Following the arrested and detention of the acting Chairman of the Council of Patriots (COP), Menipakei Dumoe for allegedly posting on his social media wall noting that ‘Liberia Needs AK47s and Not Bag Of Rice Chairman, the political leader of the opposition All Liberia Party and current Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Benoni W. Urey is calling on the Liberian government to immediately release from further detention of Mr. Dumoe.
Speaking to a local daily, FPA, via mobile phone, Mr. Urey said, “I am calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Menipakei Dumoe. President George Weah needs to intervene and ensure that this man is released immediately, and further noted that the Government’s decision to arrest Dumoe for a post on Facebook is wrong and must not be encouraged in a society that fought years for freedom of speech and expression,” Mr. Urey asserted.
According to him Liberians must never as a people get to the point of violating other people’s rights to expression. According to him, going on social media to restrict people from expressing their minds is not good for the maintenance of peace in Liberia.
“As we all do, go on social media and make remarks. No group of people in Liberia makes more threatening remarks on social media than officials of this government and the CDC,” the ALP Political Leader added.
The Chairman of the CPP which comprised of ALP, Unity Party (UP), Liberty Party (LP) and Alternative National Congress (ANC), frowned at the government’s decision to arrest and detain Dumoe for his Facebook post he did on May 10, 2020.
Officers of the Liberia National Police, backed by the National Security Agency (NSA) Tuesday, May 12, arrested Dumoe for his post, which they claim is a threat to national security.
On Monday, Dumoe later posted giving clarity on his previous post, which had drawn mixed reactions from the public. Some had accused him of being a violent person; however, there is no record of him being that way.
In his clarification, he stated, “A number of people have called me about a post I made last night regarding our people needing ‘AK47s’. Of course, this was a metaphor; AK-47 is a globally known symbol of resistance. Several national flags carry the AK-47 symbol as a statement of resistance against oppression.
“My call on our people to not just accept free bags of rice without questioning the system that has them living in desperate poverty should not be misunderstood as a call to violence.
“I am a non-violent political activist and will never call for the use of actual guns. Civil resistance is my M.O.”
He insisted that the Freedom of Speech that Liberians fought and died for must not be abused and the Government must stop the excessive use of force on the rights of Liberians.
“We are in a pandemic worldwide; it’s the wrong time to do what has been done to Mr. Dumoe and we are calling on Liberians, politicians, even the ruling CDC especially the chairman, who is known for making these remarks to condemn what has happened and called on the President to instruct his police and the NSA to release this man and refrain from doing any acts of this nature in the future.”
Mr. Urey, a prominent statesman, who has been engaged with several peace dialogues also called on the international community, including ECOWAS, AU and UN to condemn the act of the Government by violating the rights of Dumoe.
He maintained that state security action was unlawful for them to refuse people giving food to Dumoe while in police cells. Mr. Urey also termed as “unlawful” the search and seizure, which was carried out at Dumoe home.