The president of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia, SWAL, Mr. Roland Mulbah and several other members were last Friday assaulted by an officer of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police, causing them serious injuries.
The incident occurred before the Liberia versus La Cote d’Ivoire match when ERU officers refused to allow some members of the SWAL to enter the stadium.
Mr. Mulbah, who participated in a joint meeting with the Liberia National Police to craft guidelines for the game, explained to the officers that the SWAL was assured by the LNP that its officers would be informed about the joint decision on sports writers covering the game, but the officers were adamant.
“One of the officers threatened to beat us if we did not leave the area,” Mulbah told the Daily Observer afterwards. “When I told him that it was a joint decision with the LNP and pleaded with him to let our members enter the stadium, he began to whip us, pointing his gun on us.”
The assault resulted into a cut on Mulbah’s right jaw, and as blood oozed out of his injury, the officer got more incensed and continued his assault, as bystanders looked in shock.
As the ERU officer beat the president of SWAL and several others, Victor Bowier, in charge of security at the LFA, and also a police officer, was called in, whose interventions ended the torture that the SWAL president and his members were undergoing.
Mulbah and his colleagues received treatment at a nearby clinic before returning to the game. Mulbah’s jaw was bandaged. He expressed regret of the ERU officer’s action and appealed to the LNP to ensure that when decisions are made, “every officer who will be involved is informed about it.”
Before the match, LNP Deputy Director for Operations, Prince Mulbah and SWAL president, along with SWAL Secretary General Kolubah Zayzay participated in the joint conference that came out with guidelines to ensure the smooth management of the match against La Cote d’ivoire.
SWAL president Mulbah at the time said the association was working closely with the LNP to provide better coverage for the game.