Liberia: Emmanuel Savice Was Arrested for Breaching Security Protocol, Govt Says
Monrovia – The Executive Mansion has announced that a leading war crimes court advocate, Emmanuel Savice, along with several other persons were on Tuesday arrested by presidential security personnel for breaking through security protocols set to safeguard the President.
Mr. Savice, a leading advocate for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court in Liberia had earlier led a crowd of protesters at the Capitol to resubmit a petition to the Legislature for the setting up of the court.
Moments after the petitioning ceremony, news of his arrest and maltreatment by the Liberia National Police began to emerge.
The LNP confirmed that Savice was in their custody undergoing investigation for breach of the law.
Moments later, a release from the Executive Mansion confirmed his arrest, and accused him and his supporters of crossing the security redline.
Excerpt of the release: “Several persons have been arrested by the Liberian National Police for breach of security at the Foreign Ministry office of President George M. Weah. The group, led by one Emmanuel Savice, broke through the perimeter set by the Executive Protection Service (EPS) and blocked the entrance with a vehicle.”
The release continues: “Savice and his followers, who had earlier gone to the Capitol Building in order to petition lawmakers for the establishment of a war crimes court, used their vehicle to block the exit route of the Presidential convoy. They grossly disregarded instructions by security forces to remove the blockade.”
“Some members of the group, including Savice, were subsequently arrested by LNP officers – who had done all in their powers to ensure the protection of their rights to gather and petition their government. The police authorities have acknowledged having Savice and companions in their custody and announced that they will be duly charged and forwarded to court.”
The government, in the release promised “do all within its power to ensure the constitutional rights of all Liberians to free assembly and association but that the exercise of such rights must be done in a civil manner in keeping with law.”
“Several persons have been arrested by the Liberian National Police for breach of security at the Foreign Ministry office of President George M. Weah. The group, led by one Emmanuel Savice, broke through the perimeter set by the Executive Protection Service (EPS) and blocked the entrance with a vehicle.”Press release, Executive Mansion
But on the contrary, Savice, confirming his arrest via his Facebook page alleged that he was maltreated by the LNP.
to every one of you that is standing for JUSTICE. At the moment, l am still
being detain at the LNP headquarters. I was beaten mercilessly by EPS and
turned over for charges. I am presently at the LNP. The beaten style included
putting a blanket around my face to step on my side of my ears while been kick
by many of the EPS Securities.
Representatives from the House, my lawyer and a UN representative is seeking my release to go to hospital.
My wallet and my phone or taken away. A total of
1,800 stolen from me. All this for the fight for War and Economic Crimes Court.
Police Spokesperson, Moses Cater was unable to be reached for response. His phone rang with no answer.
Meanwhile, Savice, had earlier joined fellow advocates including Fubi Henries, Nathan Blayee (alias Butt Naked) and their supporters at the Capitol on Tuesday to present a petition to the House of Representatives for the establishment of war and economic crimes court.
Presenting the petitioned to the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep. Prince Moye, Savice warned of a possibility of another civil war in Liberia if the court was not established to prosecute those responsible for the heinous crimes that were committed.
“We are not begging, we are demanding [the establishment of war crimes court] because if not, there will be another war in Liberia. And we don’t want that,” he said.
“We came to remind you of the civil war and, impunity because when I look left I see the office of Senator Prince Johnson, when I look right, I see the office of Rep. George Bolley. I see economic Vampires. The House of Representatives has done nothing about the war crimes court.”
Senator Johnson and Rep. Bolley of Grand Gedeh County are two of several Liberians indicted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to face prosecution for atrocities they committed during the war.
Savice vowed to assemble at the Legislature every two months until the legislature yields to their request.
Receiving the petition, Deputy Speaker Moye, who lead an array of lawmakers including Reps. Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis and Acarous Gray welcomed the move, and promised to work with the champions of the resolution calling for the setting up of a war crimes court to ensure it is placed on the House’s agenda for action.
“This is just a reminder because we have received more than 50 signatures to put back that resolution on the agenda for possible actions,” he pledged. Also speaking, Rep. Dennis, who is credited for being one of the lawmakers pushing for the court vowed to spearhead the reintroduction of the resolution on the agenda for approval by plenary.