Eighteen (18) students of the United Methodist University (UMU) who were arrested on Friday have been signed for by their parents and school authorities, the Liberia National Police (LNP) said yesterday in a release.
The LNP over the weekend announced the arrests of the 18 students when they protested at the Ministry of Commerce and disrupted normal working activities, which resulted in injuries during a melee with police officers.
Police spokesman Sam Collins said the protesters were questioned for their alleged role in the Friday protest.
He said the 18 individuals informed the Crime Services Investigators that they were part of a group calling itself “Citizens for Open Society and Transformation” that are seeking for the resignation of the Minister of Commerce, Axel Addy, over his alleged failure to address the “proliferations of expired goods on the Liberian market.”
Collins said the protesters’ action disrupted the smooth flow of vehicular and human traffic and business activities along Ashmun Street for several hours.
He further said the LNP officers who responded to the protest came under attack when protesters threw stones and other foreign objects at them, wounding three officers.
However, our reporter who was on the scene reported that some LNP officers were accused of allegedly assaulting several protesters, which led the protesters to respond by throwing stones.
The LNP named the protest’s leaders as Eugene William, Ryes Willie and David Germu.
Meanwhile, the LNP said it will not tolerate any form of violence from individuals who may want to undermine the peace and security of the country, especially as the country moves to the October elections.
The LNP said while it respects the rights of individuals in Liberia to exercise their constitutional rights, such rights must be done within the confines of the law, warning that it will deal drastically with anyone or group of individuals, under the rule of law that may want to disrupt the peace of the country.