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Liberia: Several Political Activists Jailed



State security forces have arrested and charged several political activists for incitement. The Liberian National Police  have confirmed the arrest but silent on the actual number of those being detained. An estimated nine persons are being held in custody so far, one police source said.

Among those arrested are Mulbah Morlu vice chairman of the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change, William Knowldon and  Bah-Wah Brownell. The activists are part of an anti government movement seeking the non violent ousting of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. They have accused the President and her government of corruption, bad governance and misrule.

Since the announcement of their campaign the group has been pursuing peaceful approach in their resignation demand. Their campaign for the President to step down is consistent with the West African nation’s constitution. The jailed activists were mugged in a brutal police raid on Wednesday afternoon in the Sinkor district of Monrovia, on the scene eye witnesses have said. 

Deepening political Pressure

Johnson Sirleaf is under immense domestic pressure to quit over claims of corruption, economic mismanagement and misrule. Top opposition politicians are leading the call. Amidst the political pressure a new pro government group – Liberian for the Protection of Peace and Democracy (LPPD) pumped up to show support to the President. There is growing public resentment against the LPPD. Individuals within its leadership are accused of corruption. It Chairman Musa Bility is a convicted tax cheat. Both the LPPD and the Ellen Step Down Campaigners have planned a protest showdown for 9 October.

This made the Liberian capital  Monrovia to experience a virtual shutdown on Wednesday when  rival protestors greeted the arriving Johnson -Sirleaf at the Roberts International Airport with mixed messages.
There was deployment of armed police officers and a complete shutdown of government since the President’s supporters consisted dominantly of government officials and workers.

 There were unverified reports that state agents hired protestors in favor of the president. Up to press time the police have  reported zero incident of violence. The President arrived safely and addressed her supporters despite alarmed that she would have been arrested on arrival.

The controversial Youth League Chair of Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change has announced that some members of Johnson-Sirleaf regime have planned to unseat her via assignation and install another opposition leader – former Senate leader Charles Bruimskine of the Liberty Party as President. Brumskine’s party rejected the claim.

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