There has been an increasing worry about community dwellers and groups of people, including children, joining in on the chaos of mobbing those who are accused of stealing or raping. Over and over again the Liberian National Police have pleaded with community dwellers ‘not to take the law into their own hands.’
On many occasions bodies of those beaten to death have surfaced in the wee hours of the morning in the aftermath of mob violence. Many innocent people have also become victims of such crude ‘injustice’ thus causing them to lose their limbs.
Over the weekend, a man visiting Duala for the very first time after being invited to a church service by a friend was brutally attacked and he was rushed to the hospital at the point of death.
According to witnesses and the badly beaten man, after the church service was over, the man who asked not to be identified admitted that “everything that followed happened so fast that it was surreal.”
“My friend and I were joking over a bag of water because you know the price has gone up. I snatched the bag from him and started drinking, while running and he was after me,” he said.
Unfortunately for the 24 year-old, he made a big mistake running.
“I heard my friend saying ‘bring my water, and at the same time, jokingly saying, rogue, rogue,” he stated.
According to witnesses on the scene, a man shouted ‘he stole a phone’ because they believed, based on his structure, he could do such a thing.
“No one investigated or asked; they just started knocking him with shovels on his head, face also with rocks, sticks, their fists and shoes. They kept beating the boy away from the church and everywhere he tried to run. A police officer passing, risking his life, threw the bloody man on a motorcycle and rushed him to the hospital,” stated Fatmata of Momboe Town.
There have been other cases where others were assaulted without valid reason.
Two years ago, a man identified as Friday from the Caldwell community lost his younger brother to ‘mob violence’ because of misinformation.
“My brother was a drinker. One night he got drunk as usual and saw a woman passing. He tried to get her attention by pulling at her wrist to talk to her, but she got angry and told him to leave her. When he refused to give him a chance, she shouted that he wanted to rape her,” Friday said.
According to him, a mob came from nowhere and started beating on his brother with every object imaginable.
“He died right on the scene. Till this day, I cannot forgive the community that did this to my brother,” he added.
Also, in late December, an entire community was threatened with arrest if identities of some of its residents involved in the murder of an ‘innocent man,’ was not revealed.