WASHINGTON D. C. – Titled “Gangsters Paradise II: The Dark Days Are Returning – Journalist Dies At The Brutal Hands Of President George Weah Security Forces”, a statement by group of advocates and lawyers based in the United States warned that killers of Liberian Journalists will be served justice. The International Justice Group headed by former Chairman of the defunct Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Cllr. Chairman Jerome J. Verdier, Sr., as executive director, advised the families of the journalist not to be despair as the perpetrators will be served justice.
The IJG blames the death of Liberian broadcast journalist Zenu Miller of the OK FM on brutality meted to the journalist by the President George Manneh Weah’s Executive Protection Service.
“We hold the following perpetrators responsible, accountable and culpable for the murder of the late Journalist Zenu Miller,” the statement said, and names Mr. George M. Weah (President), Mr. Trokon Roberts (Director, EPS), Culpable Officers of the EPS as perpetrators justice will be served.
In the press statement issued on February 17, 2020 from Washington D. C., the IJG quoting Martin Luther King, Jr that “the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice”.
The Statement further traced what happened to the late Liberian journalist Zenu Miller who was reportedly beaten, brutalized by the Executive Protection Service (EPS), President George Weah personal security, on the evening of January 26, 2020. On the 27th instant, Miller reported on his Facebook page of severe pains in his chest and other parts of his body. In less than a month, Zenu Miller is dead.
Brutality and Impunity Condemned
“We condemn the rising acts of human rights violations in Liberia and the indifference to these Crimes against humanity by the perverse George Weah government,” the statement by the IJG said.
Specifically, the group condemns the brutal manhandling of the late journalist, allegedly in the presence of the EPS head, Mr. Trokon Roberts and the complete silence of President Weah [which the group said] is consent to these and other crimes of the government, thus lending credence to a pervasive culture of impunity and government’s indifference to the rights of its citizens or a commitment to upholding and defending human rights unreservedly.
“While the full circumstances leading up to the death of Journalist Zenu Miller are yet to be independently established, his death occurring less than a month subsequent to his deliberate brutalization, we draw natural presumptions that Miller’s demise, most likely than not, was the consequence of internal injuries inflicted by the brutal hands of evil men in the security forces of President Weah, who along with their direct supervisor, Mr. Trokon Roberts are the perpetrators of this heinous crime and must be brought to justice for murder,” the International Justice Group intimated.
Demanding a full and comprehensive investigation into the death of the late journalist Miller with report to be made public, the IJG asserted that the human rights and justice community views the failure by the government to investigate as a cover up designed to shield perpetrators from justice and uphold the despicable culture of impunity and lawlessness undermining the rule of law in Liberia in an environment that discourages foreign investment and suffocates the business climate.
The group, in the same breath, condemns the alleged denial of Honorable Yekeh Kolubah the right to travel abroad to seek medical treatment, saying the right to travel, free movement and of speech are so fundamental to the very existence of mankind that the Constitution of Liberia considers them inalienable.
The IJG therefore said these rights must never be taken away, violated or denied so lightly, adding that doing so is denying the very existence of man himself.
Reminders of the Bad Old Days
The statement of the IJG issued by its Executive Director Cllr. Jerome Verdier surmised that the present day circumstances in Liberia are reminders of the bad old days. “Liberians have come a long way from the past when leaders like the late President Samuel K Doe and Charles G Taylor were brutal violators of individual human rights with impunity,” the IJG accentuated.
The group stressed that President Taylor with his so-called Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) and President Doe with his so-called Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (SATU) were all callous authorities unto themselves, human rights violators who showed no regards for democratic principles; they were instead were dictators and aspired to remain in power forever.
“The Liberian people resisted with sweat and blood through their respective regimes and a brutal war; Liberians are well poised to embrace the democratic aspirations of a free society and we think it’s a gross disservice to take Liberians down that memory lane of dictatorship and human rights abuses,” Cllr Verdier said in the statement on behalf of his IJG.
The group stressed that “Mr. Weah as a reminder, is exhibiting dictatorial tendencies like the late President Doe, his idol and mentor for all purposes of role model and gratitude”.
Verdier’s IJG insinuated that “President Weah is taking revenge against the Liberian people for the killing of Samuel Doe during the civil war. He credits his exploits in soccer to all the late President did for him and is hurt, depressed and fanatical about President Doe and grieves over his brutal death, to this date,” he said in the statement.
The statement disclosed that the IJG is informed “that President Weah wonders sometimes why the Liberian people made him president and thinks they were stupid to make him president”.
“He blames the Liberian people for the death of President Doe and has entertained a state of mind to exact revenge on his own people he hopes will assuage or compensate for his disability and grievous pains he carries for the death of the late President Doe,” Cllr. Verdier further disclosed.
“We assure the Liberian people that Liberia will not remain forever the land of impunity and injustices. Liberia will rise up to the true meaning of its creed that “Liberia is a glorious and sweet land of liberty and justice for all…”
Verdier said in the statement issued “By Authority” that there will be justice for all in Liberia, and that officials and operatives of government will behave themselves appropriately in accord with norms and standards of good governance, respecting all the rights of citizens and residents within our borders so that our republican form of government will long continue to be a government of the people, for the people and by the people.
“We once more repeat previous calls on the Weah regime to consider the full implementation of all recommendations of the TRC, especially the establishment of the Extraordinary Criminal Tribunal for War and Economic Crimes in Liberia as contained in the Report of the TRC and emphasized by US House Resolution 1055 as the inescapable precondition for sustainable peace, unity, security and reconciliation in Liberia,” the IJG’s executive director concluded the statement.