After months of dispute following the mysterious death of Victoria Zayzay in a police cell on Hotel Africa Road in Virginia, outside Monrovia, the family is now set to give the late Victoria a befitting burial today.
A local organization, Independent Human Rights Investigators (IHRI), announced yesterday at a press conference that Victoria’s remains will be laid to rest today in the absence of an autopsy report that would have established the cause of death.
Ms. Victoria Zayzay was found dead on October 21, 2015, while in police custody at the Zone-6, Depot-One holding cell.
She was taken to the police depot and placed in custody on October 20, 2015, for allegedly fighting with another woman.
The deceased family cried foul when police informed them that she hanged herself during the night and that she was only discovered dead in the morning hours.
This prompted an investigation by government which resulted into two pathologists from Ghana coming to Liberia to establish the cause of death. Although the pathologists submitted an autopsy report to the government, the report until yesterday has not been made public on grounds that it was “inconclusive.” A leaked copy of the autopsy report suggested that Zayzay did not die from hanging, as was suggested by police.
Adama K. Dempster, founding National Director – Lead Investigator of IHRI, told reporters yesterday that the Special Representative of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) made an intervention by urging the government to thoroughly investigate the incident and bring the case to an immediate end.
“We realized the culture of suspicious and mysterious deaths has emerged as another trend of challenge creating the spirit of fear and insecurity among Liberians and foreign nationals in the country, therefore, we urge the government to seize this opportunity by ensuring the protection of human security and advance the culture of human rights at all levels in the face of UNMIL drawdown by June this year,” he said.
Mr. Dempster suggested that government take the necessary actions that can deter and alleviate any action of insecurity, especially when an individual is placed in police custody.
Meanwhile the body will be removed from the St. Moses Funeral Home this morning to be paraded through Somalia Drive to Virginia, where a brief service will be held at the Bethel Banjor Church. Thereafter, interment follows at the Brewerville cemetery.