— Condemns the Attack on the Students
The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has called on the government of Liberia to prosecute all those who shall be considered responsible for the July 26 violence melted on some students of the university of Liberia (UL).
In a press release, the organization has termed as gruesome and barbaric the recent attack on members of the Student Unification Party (SUP) of the UL by supporters of the ruling Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC).
The July 28 release condemned in the strongest terms the unprovoked attack on the students and called for immediate investigation and subsequent persecution.
It said that the attack on the students was ill-advised and is reminiscent of the country’s dark past where the constitutionally- guaranteed rights of Liberians were flagrantly trampled upon by agents of the ruling regime.
The Association, quoting independent media reports and video footage of the event, indicated that the SUP members were confronted and attacked by the CDC-Council of Patriots during a protest called by the students to denounce bad governance and its vices in the country, including corruption, poverty, and insecurity under the Weah led administration.
The protest, which was held on July 26, on the grounds of the US Embassy, showed student Christopher Sivili of SUP being brutalized and tortured, while state security officers in close proximity offer no help in protecting him, the release explained. The Association said no Liberian should be assaulted or dehumanized for peacefully exercising their fundamental right to assemble and petition their government as guaranteed under the constitution.
ALJA, in its release, calls on the government to go beyond the issuance of a mere statement of condemnation and prosecute the perpetrators who are captured in several videos on social media of the barbaric act.
Failure to do so, the release said would suggest tacit support by the ruling establishment of the brutality against the students. The American-based Liberian Journalists organization expressed concern that this type of violent attack against a group some members or sympathizers of the ruling party perceive as an enemy of the government could scare the opposition into silence, with potentially negative consequences for the conduct of 2023 Presidential and General Elections.
At the same time, the ALJA release is further calling on Liberians of all political persuasions to condemn the recent attack on student Christopher and the other SUP members because it has the potential of reversing the democratic gains Liberia has made in recent years.
ALJA is a conglomeration of current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. It is a 501c (3) non-profit organization. The Association was founded in 1998 to foster companionship amongst its members and their American counterparts.
The group remains committed to advancing press freedom through media capacity building and the fostering of good governance in Liberia through media advocacy.