Govt. Orders full Scale Police Probe -As Min. of Justice, CDC Condemn JULY 26 Violence

Attacks on the Student Unification Party (SUP) of the University of Liberia by those purporting to be CDC Council of Patriots have been receiving massive condemnations, some of which come from the the Government of Liberia  through the Ministry of Justice and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). The SUP has claimed that some of its members are being treated in different hospitals for injuries sustained from those referred to as  “anti-government protesters in different locations.” With both government and CDC calling for full scale investigation into the violence to bring perpetrators to book, the Justice Ministry clearly said there was no permit sought by protesters that could have guaranteed safeguarding of public order, public safety as well as rights and freedom of others.  

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry through the Ministry of Justice has directed the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police to launch an immediate and full-scale investigation into the July 26, 2022 street violence involving two rival groups purporting to be some students of the University of Liberia campus-based Students Unification Party (SUP) and the CDC-COP.

A Ministry of Justice press release says the Government through the Justice Ministry categorically condemns the street violence, saying images of the violence being posted on social media show unwarranted use of force and maltreatment of some participating youths which has no place in our newfound democracy.

On the merit of that, Liberia’s Attorney General Frank Musah Dean Jr., has accordingly directed the Inspector General of Police to launch an immediate and full-scale investigation to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book in keeping with the laws of Liberia.

However, the government frowns on citizens using illegal methods to express their views on national issues. “The Government wants to make it clear that while it encourages all citizens to express their views on national issues, their methods must be in conformity with law,” the Justice Ministry release also indicated.  

The release maintained that Articles 13 and 15 of the Liberian Constitution guarantee such rights, but added that the named constitutional provisions however clearly express the safeguarding of public order, public safety as well as rights and freedom of others.

The Ministry of Justice also wants to make it clear that it did not receive a request from any group to march in the streets of Monrovia on Tuesday, July 26, whether in protest for or against the Liberian Government.

A formal request for any such action, the release said, is a cardinal requirement by law, which can be conveyed through a written petition to the Ministry of Justice for a permit.

“The Liberia National Police Act of 2015 Section III Article 22.86 which also deals with Public Order mandates any persons wanting to hold such a march or protest to contact the Minister of Justice in keeping with the law,” the government asserted in the release, noting that has such a request come to the Ministry of Justice, the government would have acted to ensure public safety and order by scheduling the rival groups at different times.

Meanwhile, the Government is encouraging all individuals who witnessed the Tuesday, July 26 violence to assist the Police with its investigation, assuring that their identities will be protected and information held confidentially.

Similarly the ruling Coalition for democratic Change (CDC) has Condemned what it considered “the Allegations of Violence” and called for prosecution of the perpetrators.

 A CDC press release expressed shock for and disapproval of the “allegations of violence” Tuesday, July 26, 2022 in Monrovia.

The CDC as a peaceful, law-abiding and nonviolent political institution will continue to maintain a zero-tolerance policy against any form of violence, the ruling party Aid in its release.

Besides, the CDC maintained that the use of violence as a medium through which political expressions are sought is reprehensible, unjustified and runs contrary to the ideology and philosophy of the CDC.

“Henceforth, the CDC condemns in the strongest possible terms these alleged acts of brutality committed by lawless elements and calls on the Liberia National Police to launch a speedy investigation (on all sides) determined to establish the facts and to bring the culprits to justice,” the release indicated, stating, “Therefore, as we call for the prosecution of all those allegedly involved, the CDC assures the Liberia National Police of its unconditional cooperation, if needed.

The ruling party also called on the Liberia National Police to conduct a holistic investigative process in response to strong allegations that members of the CDC (who are being treated in different hospitals) sustained injuries meted out by anti-government protesters in different locations.

“Lastly, we use this medium to encourage the combined political opposition to confront the CDC-led government more openly if they will, rather than hiding behind members of the student community to portray a false sense of governance dysfunction,” the CDC release concluded.

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