Three aggrieved Judicial staffers, including their ring leader Archie Ponpon who, on Monday, October 12, during a peaceful protest, were left unconscious and wounded as a result of Police brutality and now hospitalized at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital have received an assurance that the government will cover their medical bills.
The workers met their misfortune in the hands of officers of the Liberia National Police when they and scores of their colleagues staged a peaceful protest in demand for their 12-month Liberian Dollar salary component due them by the judicial branch of government.
The news about government settling medical bills for the brutalized peaceful protestors came shortly after Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, met with their leadership on Thursday, October 13 on the ground of the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
It was during the meeting with the protesters that Minister Tweah was heard promising them that “To those of your colleagues that are hospitalized, the government is going to take care of their hospital bills.”
According to Tweah, he has already communicated with Doctor Jerry Brown at the hospital to submit bills for those protesters who are admitted at the hospital.
During the meeting, Minister Tweah acknowledged the government’s indebtedness to the workers for 12 months as they had said for the past three weeks.
“It’s true that the government owes you 12 months and we are going to pay your salaries but not immediately,” Minister Tweah told the aggrieved workers.
“You don’t need to engage in any form of violence to seek redress to your concern. We know there is a problem, but we have to sit and solve it,” the Minister noted, adding, “We are going to pay three months of the 12 months beginning this month, October, and we are going to set up a technical team to continue with the payment.”
Meanwhile, the protesters were Brutalized when they assembled on Monday, October 12 at the entrance of the Supreme Court building in an attempt to ensure that their plight grabs the attention of senior public officials, including President George Weah, who are usually invited to grace the opening of the Supreme Court.
Before they assembled, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor had informed the aggrieved workers that Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah would visit the Temple of Justice to address their concerns that had led to numerous protests against him (Korkpor) which resulted in the disruption of Court activities.
While the protesters had taken their peaceful position at the entrance of the Supreme Court, it was when the head of the Police Support Unit (PSU) with a request from the Chief Justice issued an order to have the workers forcefully removed from the premises of the Temple of Justice.