How does this government think it can get away with such an atrocity?
Why has the government of Liberia not released the autopsy report on the death of Victoria Zayzay?
The GOL’s answer is that the report was “inconclusive”.
If that is the case, then why not release it and order a second opinion? Surely that would have been the wisest course of action both for a government that is already under suspicion for the mysterious deaths of political opponents and whistleblowers, and for the sake of the bereaved family.
If a few rogue officers committed the crime, boot them out and bring them to justice.
But the fact that the government has withheld the report for this long and the family has finally had to bury their daughter five months after her death without an autopsy report, stinks of suspicion and callousness (indifference, cold-heartedness). It renders the entire government complicit in the crime!
How heartless. How cruel.
Whatever happened to women’s rights under Africa’s first democratically elected female president, that a woman, a pregnant mother, can die with her unborn child in such a gruesome manner in police custody, and the murders go unsolved without even so much as the courtesy of an investigation?
Even if the report had been inconclusive, that should have put more of a burden on the government to conduct a thorough on-the-ground investigation. Who is the depot commander? Who were the officers on duty that night? How was it possible that no one saw what happened?
Of course, as all things done in the darkness must come to light, a copy of the report was allegedly leaked through none other than the Justice Ministry itself. Reportedly, it concluded that Victoria Zayzay did not die from hanging.
The question, then, becomes how did she die, and why? What happened?
If she did not die from hanging, then was she killed? If she was killed, then by whom? What did Victoria Zayzay see in the police cell that night? Did she witness a late night drug deal in the depot? What information was she privy to?
Then again, she was also a very attractive woman. Was she raped? Is that why the autopsy report was never released? She was also pregnant. Was it a ritualistic killing?
These are the questions to which the government exposes itself when it goes about concealing information that is vital to laying the fears and suspicions of the public to rest.
The government of Liberia has in fact treated Victoria Zayzay’s death like that of a stray dog – not even warranting the human dignity of an investigation.
Worse still, it seems a concerted effort was made by the responsible authorities effectively to deny justice in this case.
In a press statement issued nearly three months after Zayzay’s death in police custody, Police Director Chris Massaquoi assured the general public that “the LNP attaches serious concern to this matter” and that “a comprehensive investigation” was ongoing, pending the outcome of the autopsy report.
We are yet to see the makings, let alone the findings of said investigation.
When the family saw no such ongoing investigation as promised by the GOL, Madam Comfort Zayzay, mother of the deceased and grandmother of the unborn child, yet unable to bury her daughter’s body, staged a sit-in protest at the Temple of Justice. There, she met Chief Justice Francis Korkpor. When
she begged him to help her get justice for her daughter, he chided her and her fellow protestors for using the judiciary for “political” purposes.
“This is not a political ground and we will not tolerate people holding protest as a means of getting justice. This is not the purpose of the Judiciary. We are a not a party to any case. We are only here to make sure everybody gets justice,” he chided the bereaved mother and grandmother whose pregnant daughter had died in police custody.
A heartless rebuke, as if the death of one’s daughter in police custody classifies as a political matter! It definitely is not, Mr. C.J!
The Justice Ministry itself, which leaked the autopsy report in January 2016, had told journalists that with the report in hand, further investigations would be conducted.
“…if it establishes that anyone is involved,” the MOJ source assured the public, “we are going to deal with such person for Ms. Zayzay’s death in our cell transparently, and we want to assure the public that we will remain transparent until the matter is brought to rest.”
The MOJ is yet to live up to its promise.
The giver of Justice in the country, to which Chief Justice Korkpor directed the mother of the victims, has not dispensed justice as promised or as required.
As such, Victoria Zayzay’s blood and that of her unborn child remains on the hands of the Government of Liberia.
Micahael Allison, Victoria Zayzay, Harry Greaves… Who will be next, and where and when will it end?