LIBERIA: CEMESP Condemns July 26 Violence Against Protesting Students
The Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP) has condemned in the strongest terms the violence meted out against protesting students of the University of Liberia’s Student Unification Party outside the United States Embassy on July 26.
The CEMESP says there can be no justification for anyone to be brutalized by thugs for expressing their views regardless of how their opponents feel.
The group says the barbarous act of the thugs led by a known partisan of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change must be responded to forcefully by government if the impression that it was state sponsored is to be avoided.
The group noted that the violent act which went unchallenged by the police and other state security agents was reminiscent of similar actions carried out during Liberia’s civil war and its many years of dictatorships.
In a statement released in Monrovia, CEMESP called on the government to immediately arrest each of the thugs shown violently assaulting a protester in the video of the incident and speedily bring them to justice for their crimes, as a way of discouraging any future occurrence of such act.
The Media development and freedom of expression group noted that Liberia has felt too much pains for state authorities to allow people to settle their disagreement with others by resorting to thuggish and extrajudicial violent action.
CEMESP is therefore cautioning the government to espouse a zero tolerance for thuggish jungle justice as an unjustified attack on peaceful protesters could trigger the desire for and perpetration of counter action by rival groups, which is a recipe for dragging the country into anarchy.