Liberia: Police Officer Accused of Brutalizing 28-Year-Old Woman in Detention at Zwedru Police Station
ZWEDRU, Grand Gedeh County – The Civil Society Group in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County has accused an officer of the Liberia National Police (LNP) identified as Lexington Beh of ‘unmercifully’ beating a female in detention at the police station in Zwedru.
But Police Spokesperson Moses Carter denied the allegation, stating that the woman, 28 year-old Patience Wulue was charged for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.
According to reports, the survivor, Patience Wulue, 28 was arrested on June 20, 2020 and detained by officer Beh on the orders of the Police Commander of Grand Gedeh County.
The reports said, while in detention, Beh allegedly started raining insults on Wulue, calling her a prostitute and a street girl. And when she responded that he was not saying the truth about her, he entered the cell and beat her severely.
“She cried for help but no one could go there. She bled throughout that night and he next day a man stood for her to enable her visit the Hospital,” wrote Choma Krayee, a member of a Civil Society group based in the county.
The incident has caught the attention of several human rights organizations and institutions including the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INHCR) and Medica Liberia, who are engaging authorities to ensure the alleged perpetrator is brought to book.
Despite their intervention, sources says Beh has not been arrested and the Police Commander of the county has turned down an invitation by the County Attorney, Isaac Williams. The commander, instead has ordered his men to re-arrest the survivor. But Atty. Williams have refused to allow the survivor to be re-arrested.
When called up, Atty. Williams told FPA that investigation is still ongoing and findings will be made following the conclusion.
But Cater told FPA that Wulue had gone to beg for the release of a relative who was detained for assaulting a police officer. And when the Police refused her request, she became to disturb.
“She was really disturbing the place. So they had asked her out but she said she can’t go. So, the commander ordered to detain her on the charges of disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.” Carter explained.
According to Carter, while in detention, she complained that she was menstruating and a local journalist only identified as Lloyd guaranteed her release and promised to bring her back.
But after she got out, she went to the pro women NGO, Medica Liberia where she made up the story that she was brutally beaten by the police and bled profusely.
Carter said the police Commander went to the Hospital to inquire about her condition and was told by the Chief Medical Doctor that she was stable.
The police is waiting for the medical report from the hospital in oder to press charges and send her to court, Carter said.
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL), Loretta Pope Kai told FrontPageAfrica that the Council is concerned about the unfolding incident in Zwedru and is engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure that justice is served.
“We are aware of the case and we’ve been doing a lot of follow –ups, and we will continue to get updates and engage relevant stakeholders,” she said.
Of recent, there have been increase wave of violence perpetrated against civilians, mostly women at the hands of state security.
Last weekend an officer of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police reportedly shot dead a woman in the 72nd Community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The victim identified as Kumba Lansanah-Tamba, a resident of Stephen Tolbert Estate community, was shot dead by officer James Duma, ID, 2720, at an entertainment center minutes after she attended a birthday party in the same vicinity. The remains of the victim were seen lying in a pool of blood.
Eyewitnesses say the alleged refusal of a fiancée of the suspect only identified as one Salimatu, who is reported to be a relative of Montserrado County Representative Thomas Fallah, prompted the unfortunate incident.
Eyewitnesses said Duma was beating on his fiancée unmercifully, and in an attempt to scare away the crowd who attempted rescuing her, he fatally shot the victim.
Duma has been disrobed by the LNP and placed under investigation.