IG Sudue to Face Human Rights Probe

14
2055
Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Patrick Sudue

But, Montserrado County Attorney Edwin Martin defies Sudue’s appearance

The Inspector-General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Patrick Sudue together with several others officers to include Walter B. Wrat, assistant director for operation (code #105) are to shortly appear before the Independent National Commission of Human Rights of Liberia (INCHRL) in connection to a complaint filed to the commission, accusing them of being involved with human rights violation in the enforcement of the state of emergency particularly, the wearing of face masks.

Sudue’s appearance resulted from a complaint filed by Counselor Arthur Johnson, who accused six (6) police officers, including two females, of flogging a lady identified as Siah Johnson Dweh (relative of Cllr. Johnson) for not wearing a face mask while in public.

However, the Montserrado County Attorney, Cllr. Edwin Martins, believed to be the lawyer of Sudue, when he appeared before the Truth FM Radio Station phone-in program, challenged any institutions including the INCHR to cite Sudue for an investigation over human rights abuses.

Defending Sudue’s action, Martins argued that Sudue is ensuring the full implementation of the state of emergency as pronounced and mandated by President George Weah, and at no time will he (Sudue), be allowed to address any human rights violation complaint filed by anyone, including Cllr. Johnson, to the Human Rights Commission.

“Sudue is now focusing on the President’s mandate and will not be investigated by any institution and if anyone believed that he committed any human rights violation, let that person go to the court,” Martins said in defense of Sudue’s non-compliance posture.

The incident happened on Tuesday, April 29 by 6:30 a.m., in front of the Kanga, building, opposite the Lone Star office, in the St. Paul Bridge Community, Bushrod Island, outside of Monrovia.

“IG Sudue under the doctrine of respondent supervisor for his issuance of wrongful orders to six (6) officers that they should flog and beat who they observed failed to fully observe the health protocol and failure to wear face mask,”  Cllr. Johnson claims in his complaint, captioned: “Human rights violation (cruel, torture and inhumane treatment, police brutality and abuse.”

Johnson’s complaint continues, “Sudue is liable for human rights abuse on grounds that the officers in question were under the his chain of command and authority and performing under his instruction.”

“Sudue (left) has no backing in law, both national and international, to authorize the whipping and flogging of Liberian citizens for alleged violation of health protocols to wear the face mask,” Cllr. Johnson said.

The complaint further alleges that Sudue in justifying his human rights violation was heard on the Truth FM Radio Station, where Cllr. Johnson quoted Sudue as saying, “that he authorized his LNP officers to beat and whip Liberian citizens who they believed in their discretion were not following the health protocol(s) for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Cllr. Johnson’s complaint argued that Sudue has no authority to authorize police officers to use the whip and flog alleged violators of the health protocol, of which Johnson claimed that Siah was in compliance with health protocol.

Assistant Director Wrat, Cllr. Johnson said, is a direct supervisor of the six officers who allegedly brutalized Madam Dweh on Tuesday morning, April 29, “and he deliberately failed to address the plights and abuse that was meted against the lady, because she did not have face mask worn.

“Sudue has no backing in law, both national and international, to authorize the whipping and flogging of Liberian citizens for alleged violation of health protocols to wear the face mask,” Cllr. Johnson said.

Cllr. Johnson’s complaint grew of an incident that took place on Tuesday, morning, April 29, by 6:30 a.m., in which one of his sisters, Siah Johnson Dweh, told him that while on her way from her St.Paul Bridge residence, she came across six police officers, two of who were female, with one being an officer of the Police Support Unit (PSU), who Siah identified as Kemah Binda, inflicted serious bodily injuries on her (Siah’s) body and allegedly stole US$480, thereby constituting human rights violation.

Madam Dweh further explained that on her way to the Waterside Market riding in a tricycle (keh-keh) with other passengers on board, they were stopped by the six officers including Kemah, one of the female officers, and they were asked out of the keh keh, an order to which they peacefully complied.

Thereafter, she alleged, she was asked by one of the officers, who she could physically identify, about her face mask.

In response, Siah claimed that she told the officers she had forgotten to wear the mask and it was in her bag. Unfortunately, Siah claimed that while she attempted and bend on her knees to take the mask from her bag and wear it, in compliance of the instruction given to her by the police commander, who also she could not identify, she unexpectedly received a whip on her back by Officer Kemah. Thereafter, the other officers jumped on her and started whipping her on her back and all over her body, resulting in her sustaining bruises and bleeding.

While being brutalized by the officers, Siah claims that her US$480 fell on the ground including some unaccounted Liberian dollars banknotes. Officer Kemah took away the United States dollar portion and defiantly refused to hand it over to her.

“Kemah started to rain insults at me throughout the time I was taken to the Headquarters of the LNP,” Siah claimed.

Cllr. Johnson also alleged that while Siah and the accused officers were at the police headquarters, the authority there displayed absolute disregard for the human rights of the victim and refused to intervene.

“Siah stayed at the headquarters for more than five hours without redress and I was compelled to file this complaint against them because, up to the filing of this complaint, Siah continues to suffer bodily injuries and pain, as a consequence of the brutality meted out against her by the officers that were acting under the instruction of the IG Sudue,” Cllr. Johnson’s complained alleges.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Sudue,
    We will flog you so know what it feels like . You useless fools calling yourselves peace officers. Revenge is coming.

  2. Let us be serious, if INCHRL doesn’t have any authority in normal times, why would members think such overreach possible under a state of emergency. Nonetheless, that the idea got some traction which required a legal response puts pressure for more professionalism in the discharge of policing duties. Conversely, COVID-19 deserves full cooperation of the public in following protocols that include social distancing and lockdown.

    • It makes no sense to brutalize a person because they’re not wearing a mask. It’s like using a bomb to kill a snake. In a civilized society, punishment must always fit the crime. This punishment does not fit the crime of not wearing a mask. Does it, Mr. Moses? This behavior shows Liberia to be a lawless society and we wonder why investors are not coming to the country. Why would an investor come here to invest their money given this terrible behavior by the Police which is approved by the leadership of this CDC government. Police brutality has become the norm now in Liberia and that how it was when Charles Taylor was president.

      • Phil George, was it an exception and not the norm in Liberia when during Ellen and her Unity Party 12 years regime the police would jump through the windows of classrooms and brutalize students, or brutalize protesters when Abraham Kromah was 102 etc. etc.?

        Or was the killing of whistle blowers during Ellenś 12 years reign an exception and not the norm?

        Please answer the two questions prompted by your concluding statement: “Police brutality has become the norm now in Liberia and that how it was when Charles Taylor was president.”

        • Kandajaba – Because EJS government did wrong doesn’t make it right for Weah government to do wrong. Why can’t we govern ourselves base on rule of law like civilized societies do? Is that too difficult? This violence by the Police will only increase violence against the Police by civilians and the violence will continue unabated. Moreover, EJS government was superior than this ragtag government there in Monrovia. CDC doesn’t know how to govern and Liberians are now seeing it. They were dumb to elect a bunch of thugs to govern the country. Weah is definitely not a leader.

          • Phil George, Your inferiority complex blinds you to not knowing what been “superior” connotes or denotes as evidenced by you claiming a government (Ellen and Joe Boakaiś Unity Party government) is “superior” — A government on public and international records for its notorious widespread corruption, and criminally printing unauthorized money; while engaged in the massive killing of whistle blowers.

            But this is not surprising; taking into account the reality that you lack the essential knowledge of the principles of Law and justice, and of course, the discipline of public policy, and national governance in times of A STATE OF EMERGENCY!

            Do not be hypocritical and deceptive in pretending not to know I am debunking your partial, frivolous, and selective, judgment. Ellenś Unity Party Government was as corrupt, and brutal as the Charles Taylorś NPP Government. And you know it. However, in your blindness and hatred against certain governments, you have attempted to mislead your audience in your frivolous critique against a government maintaining law and order during A STATE OF EMERGENCY!

  3. Very stupid news article! All to increase their sale of papers. NO wonder we “hear” NOTHING from the so called INCHRL.

  4. Using extraordinary powers invoked as a means of enforcing the health protocols promulgated by the president, may have sound fine, but it have no substantial backing.

    People willingly obey the laws, whether a police officer is present or not, they comply with the laws because they believe that it is fair, and is in their best interests. In the nutshell, I believe that the police should be more civil and friendlier to their fellow citizens in discharge of the duties amid this COVID-19 pandemic instead of inflicting more curse upon them, a situation that they have no idea or control of. Since the government emptily promulgated this mandate, they could have give at least a grace period to enforce the strategy. While it is true that the strategies are in an effort to protecting the citizens, it should be implemented with lesser force (warning) or in a friendly manner since the government is incapacitated to provide any necessity PPE and urged the citizens to in provide.

    The police administration should instance use a well define discretion in carry out the president’s mandate. The administration is dealing with 4.5 million peoples and you cannot expect this population to adhere to this mandate as you expect. There will be so many shortcomings in the process as it happened in the case of Madam Siah Johnson here in this article. Carrying out criminal coarsion or barbaric actions against fellow citizens in the name of curbing the spread of the virus is totally wrong and have no space in modern human society.

  5. Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah – Apparently you believe that a corrupt president’s emergency order is cart blanche to brutalize a poor citizen who can barely afford to feed her children much less have money to buy a mask, exposes your lack of respect for the rule of law. This emergency order does not suspend the civil rights provisions in the Liberian constitution so your talk about emergency is nonsense. No official in a civilized democracy would justify unlawful behavior by Police officers. I’m not surprised by your response because this Liberian government is not one that respects the rule of law no matter what the circumstance. Bunch of thugs running the country and we know that…

  6. And so, Phil George, I ask you the question again despite the fact you keep running away from such simple questions:

    Phil George, was it an exception and not the norm in Liberia when during Ellen and her Unity Party 12 years regime the police would jump through the windows of classrooms and brutalize students, or brutalize protesters when Abraham Kromah was 102 etc. etc.?

    Or was the killing of whistle blowers during Ellenś 12 years reign an exception and not the norm?

    And while you are at that, tell us or at least extrapolate how could your Ellen and Joseph Boakai government be seen as “superior” when that government is on public and international records for its notorious widespread corruption, and criminally printing unauthorized money; while engaged in the massive killing of whistle blowers!!!!!

    • It is not worth debating you further because your argument lacks logic and objectivity. The thesis of my statement was the punishment of brutalizing that woman did not fit the “crime” of not wearing a mask and you veered into which government recorded the most human rights abuses. You justified the abuses because a corrupt president who no one respects declared a state of emergency, albeit such an emergency order does not suspend the constitution. It is patently clear you have no regards for human rights nor the rule of law and I am not surprised. Liberia today is a very violent society because of dangerous people like you who lack compassion and humanity. Brutalizing a poor woman under the disguise of an emergency order somehow perversely enhances your self-importance. Liberia under George Weah’s has become a banana republic. Liberia is now the worst country in West Africa, no doubt.

  7. You contradict reasoning and logic or both commonsense and conventional wisdom when you claim:

    (1) “the thesis of my statement was the punishment of brutalizing that woman did not fit the “crime” of not wearing a mask”, but at the same time, and by all extrapolations, in the conclusion of your “thesis statement” you;

    (2) conclude that a government (the Johnson-Sirleaf/Joseph Boakai government) IS “SUPERIOR” whose modus vivendi was;

    (3) widespread corruption, killing of imprisoned pregnant girls and their unborn children, the printing of unauthorized money, the destruction of the economy, the destruction of NOCAL, and the massive killing of whistleblowers, your “thesis” deserves A BIG F!

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