The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), has recommended that President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf openly extend a public apology to Shaki Kamara’s family and provide compensation to the family.
The INCHR also strongly recommended that the President provide monetary compensation to the family, an amount to be determined by the government in collaboration with the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia.
The Daily Observer contacted President Johnson-Sirleaf’s Presidential Press Secretary, Jerolinmeh Piah for is reaction to the INCHR’s recommendation. But he declined to comment, saying he had neither seen the report nor spoken with the President about it. As soon as he did, he would give the press her reaction.
The INCHR launched the long awaited investigation report on Shaki Kamara, who was shot in the leg in on August 20, 2014, when people of West Point Township revolted against a forced quarantine order implemented by a contingent of the Armed Forces of Liberia.
Speaking on Wednesday at the launch of the Report at the office of the Commission, the Chairperson of the Commission, former Associate Justice Gladys Johnson, said the 15-year-old, Shaki Kamara was shot in the leg, which shattered his leg resulting in profuse bleeding and death.
According to the Report, unidentified witnesses informed the Commission that Shaki Kamara was shot in the leg by a police officer. Meanwhile, the report said a military personnel shot Titus Nuah after residents of the township resisted the family of West Point Commissioner Miatta Haja Flowers remaining in the township.
The Chairperson of the Commission explained that, the commission was informed by the witnesses that they are ready to prove their allegations, but only if their safety will be guaranteed by Commission and the government at large.
“The West Point shooting affected persons, including Titus Nuah, who was shot in his stomach; Sylvester Kromah, who sustained serious lacerations from barb wires while attempting to escape the scene of the shooting and angry mob from West Point; and Shaki Kamara, who died as the result of profuse bleeding and late medication,” Commissioner Johnson said.
According to Madam Johnson, Dr. Vuyu. Kanda Golakai, Dean, A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, Professor and consultant, department of surgery, John F. Kennedy medical center explained that, “Based on still photographs and video images of the injuries sustained by Shaki Kamara, the victim of those injuries could have been successfully treated by a competent person or team in Liberia and should not have died as a result of such injuries.”
According to Titus Nuah who was shot in the stomach and in the same room with at Redemption Hospital with Shaki Kmara, “Shaki was administered drips. He constantly requested water to drink but received none; he called out to the nurses but no one came, he rolled down from the bed to the floor and crawled to my bed telling me ‘Timaya, I will die. I want to drink.’ He called plenty times crying and nobody came, he stopped talking and sleep carried me. When I woke up around 5: 30 a.m., Shaki was dead.”
According to the Commissioner Johnson, through video recording, first aid was administered to Shaki Kamara’s wound by Medicine Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the Armed Forces of Liberia at the scene of the shooting, crying and explaining that he had gone to buy bread.
The Commission also says, the misjudgment or perhaps the intentional violation of the quarantine order by the township commissioner, Miatta Haja Flowers to evacuate her family from West Point assisted by the very security forces deployed to enforce the quarantine order, was a glaring display of special treatment for commissioner Flowers and family and discrimination against the residents of West Point.
“These actions and circumstances by the township commissioner and the security forces led to the protest and later the death little Shaki Kamara and others who received injuries at the shooting situation in West Point,” Cllr. Johnson said.
The commission has also recommended to the government through the Ministry of Internal Affairs that the commissioner of West Point be reassigned or replaced; that the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf extend a public apology to the family of Shaki Kamara; and compensate the family for their loss.
The INCHR also recommends that Titus Nuah be flown to a renowned Hospital in Accra Ghana, for further evaluation or treatment accompanied by a family member and physician who operated on him at the SDA Cooper Hospital in Monrovia. For this, the government through the office of the President should underwrite the cost.
The commission has at the same time called on the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to openly apologize to the people of Liberia and the victims of the shooting incident of August 20, 2014.