Police Brutalizes UL Students -As Students Demand Reopening of Varsity

MONROVIA: What was initially thought to have been a peaceful rally to demand the opening of the University of Liberia, turned out otherwise when police used brute force yesterday on some students in their action to disperse them (students) from carrying out their planned protest against the continuous closure of the university due to the strike out action embarked by part-time lecturers at the state run institution in demand of the salaries and other benefits.

According to eyewitness accounts on the main campus of the university, members of the Fendell based Progressive Students Alliance(PROSA) had gone on the campus to mobilize and commence their planned protest on the heels of the expiration of the 72 hour ultimatum given to the authority of UL to reopen the school.

The police, which had been earlier alerted of the students’ plan swiftly moved on the campus and took positions at strategic places of the premises as the students on their own were singing solidarity songs as well as shouting anti-establishment battle cries and slogans.

Fearing that they could be overpowered by students and maybe injured in the process, the police decided to take precaution by going after the students after some of them had tried to push through the barricade of the police to come outside of their campus. At the end of the clashes with the students, a number of students were left with various degrees of injuries.

Speaking after the incident, one of the leaders who spoke to the media, William Sando, said it was a sad day for “both the conscious minded students and the entire university community for President Boakai to send police officers whose salaries are being paid by the taxpayers in this country and it showed how the government does not prioritize education”

“The police have always changed overtime. From Ellen’s police to Weah’s police and now Boakai’s police. We do not have anything against the police; they are only carrying out the assignment given to them by President Boakai to brutalize the students because we have come out to speak out against the injustice against our lecturers.

“This shows that Mr. Boakai is very insensitive to the cause of education in this country”, he said.

He said the plights of the students in country have been deteriorating at the time when “the President is riding private jets; when the Vice President is travelling in private jets”

He said the students are “not deterred by this act of terror; we can only be strengthened by these acts and we can assure the government of unspecified actions that will be executed in near future until the University of Liberia is re-opened and teachers are paid their just pay”

He asserted that under the constitution of Liberia, education is spelled out as one of the fundamental human rights of the citizens and no one has the right or power to stop the students from enjoying the opportunities there.

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