The Federation of Liberia Youth (FLY) has strongly condemned some officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) over the manner and form they(officers) allegedly manhandled and assaulted journalists Nathaniel Walker of the Analyst Newspaper and Victor Dorbor of Clar TV Channel 5 at the Temple of Justice recently.
According to the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), a video camera was forcibly taken away from Dorbor and smashed while Walker was beaten, detained and later released after he (Walker) became emotional upon seeing the camera of his colleague violently brought down to the ground.
The PUL said it is saddened that journalists have to be victimized while trying to report a story. The journalists had gone to the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice to cover the appearance of now resigned Monrovia acting City Mayor Mary Broh when the incident occurred.
In a statement issued in Monrovia over the weekend and signed by FLY Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Anthony F. Williams, the youth movement expressed frustration over the manner in which the LNP officers carried out their constitutional mandate.
Mr. Williams described the incident as a “troubling sign” for Liberia’s fragile democracy. He pointed out that journalists are not “harmful people but rather watch dog of the society” and therefore they (journalists) should not be treated like “dangerous species.”
Meanwhile, the FLY executive has called on Justice Minister Cllr. Christiana Tah to advice Police Director Chris Massaquoi on the engagement of journalists when the LNP is carrying on its duty.