Liberia: Journalist Brutalized by Police Officer Recounts Ordeal
Monrovia – Though still recovering from his injuries after an officer of the Liberia National Police brutalized him on March 11, James Kadi was amongst scores of journalists who showed up on Thursday to peacefully protest against frequent brutality against journalists in recent months.
The protest saw the petitioning of the Liberian government and the international community against maltreatment of journalists in the country.
“I’m feeling pain right now and just got through with treatment at the hospital from the hit I received from an officer of the Liberia National Police who got angry with me for telling him to leave an argument [he was in] with another person, just after I identified myself to him,” Kadi explained.
Kadi, who is still with a wound right on top of his left eye, is the latest victim of state security operatives’ unscrupulous conduct. His ordeal brings to 11 the number of journalists who have been brutalized and or humiliated by state security officers while performing reportorial duties.
Kadi, a Judicial Reporter with the News Newspaper, told FrontPageAfrica that he was on one of his scoops in Du Port Road community when an argument broke out between an officer and another person. When he opted to intervene, the unidentified police officer hit him on his head.
“I’m feeling pain right now and just got through with treatment at the hospital from the hit I received from an officer of the Liberia National Police who got angry with me for telling him to leave an argument [he was in] with another person, just after I identified myself to him.”– James Kadi, Reporter, The News Newspaper
“I introduced myself and showed my ID card to the officer and pleaded with him to leave the situation as an officer, but I don’t know whether he was drunk or something else, he pulled out the baton and hit me,” Kadi said.
“I cannot identify myself to you and appeal to you to stop something that does not auger well and then… later on hit me like we were into the argument.”
Like many journalists, Kadi is calling for justice to be served his colleagues who have been manhandled recently by state security officers.
He called on the Press Union of Liberia, Reporters Association and other human rights groups to intervene and put an end to the situation.
Journalist Kadi is amongst several other journalists who have been victim of brutality this year.
The late Zenu K. Miller of OK FM, Christopher Walker of FrontPage Africa, Salaam Kolako of Maggie TV, Aryee Davies of Truth FM, Moses Garzeawu of the Voice of America, Musa Kanneh of Renascence Communication Incorporated, Kennedy Kolo of Rivercess Broadcasting System are amongst some of the victims of security brutality, most of which involved the Executive Protective Services.