LIBERIA: State Securities Allegedly Brutalized Environmental Scientist

By Our Reporter*

Mr. Salia S. Sheriff said he was severely or mercilessly beaten and strangulated almost to death

State securities have reportedly brutalized and strangulated almost to death an environmental scientist at Gbah Jarkeh Town Checkpoint recently in Grand Cape Mount County.

The incident happened when the scientist and his assistant were returning to Monrovia from Bangoma Town in Grand Cape Mount from a research toured.

Mr. Salia S. Sheriff said he was severely or mercilessly beaten and strangulated almost to death and at the same time jailed at Gbah Jarkeh Town by state security personnel assigned.

He said those who beat him were police (Emergency Response Unit), Immigration officers and perhaps agents of the National Security Agency (NSA) thus leaving bruises on his body.

In the process, Sheriff stated his personal effects like Samsung Galaxy A51 mobile phone, Bluetooth Earphone M4 Smart Handband could not be accounted for.

Some of those accused officers only as identified George, Foday and others. Narrating his ordeal in formal complaint submitted to the University of Liberia’s President, Juluis Nelson.

Sheriff said he and his Research Assistant, Roland Kpehe, were returning to Monrovia from Grand Cape Mount when asked to disembark from the vehicle they in and made to enter the immigration booth ta the checkpoint.

There and then, he said they satisfactorily answered questions and were told to go leave, but while walking away, they began to have conversation with one of the officers.

During their conversation, Sheriff continued: “We said it was too demanding to asked one for his/her mother/father’s place of birth in an attempt to a certain his/her Liberian citizenship.”

“At this point, the officers, later identified as George got irritated and began using some sarcastic remarks. I personally asked him to be moderate and avoid getting angry as we were in a conversation not confrontation,” the victim stated.

Sheriff stated his advice might aggravated George more when his hands were slapped twice claiming that he pointed fingers at him. “In his third attempt I blocked his hand.”

At that juncture, he went further almost all of the officers on duty on said that fateful date (Thursday, 31 December, 2020), that is, the joint security at the checkpoint crowdedly jumped on me.

“I was held tightly by my T-shirt collar with an attempt to be strangulated by an officer only identified as Foday while the other officers beat on me physically resulting into severe pain and bruises on my neck, face and body,” he explained.

However, a preliminary investigation conducted by the Commander name Sheriff who later identified himself as an officer of the Executive Protective Service or EPS found the perpetrators guilty after series of meetings among themselves.

They then rendered personal apology to the victim but they were asked their commander to pay for the damages incurred by Salia.

With that, those officers involved reportedly escaped the scene while their Commander, Sheriff tried to settle the matter with the victim.

Following that the complainant (Salia Sheriff) was asked to forward the matter to the Liberian National Police through Assistant Commissioner Prince Mulbah whose mobile phone number 0770800703 was switched off at the time.

Sheriff indicated that when the Regional Commander, Samuel T. Sackey, was also reached on his contact 0770800020 on the incident, he referred the victim to the Professional Standard Division of the Liberian National Police.

Sheriff who wants the intervention of the University of Liberia is to ensure that justice is serve him for the attacked,   restitution and repair of his damaged properties to enable him continue his research work in Liberia.

Salia Sheriff is a Liberian and a candidate for Philosophy of Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Environmental Science at the University of Eldorent, Kenya.

He arrived in the country in December to conduct research for his PhD’s dissertation. Before going to Kenya for study he had been a student in the Chemistry Department at the University of Liberia.

Sheriff before taking on the project was given reference letter by the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wilson K. Tarpeh.

He is to collect soil samples and conduct interviews with people in the mining sector both artisanal and industrial areas in Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Bong and Nimba Counties respectively.

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