The Press Union of Liberia is considering all options to address the ruthless flogging of Liberian Journalist Papie S. Kollie by officers of the Police Support Unit of the Liberia National Police (LNP). Mr. Kollie, a reporter with the Liberia Women Democracy Radio (LWDR) was brutalized in the Kebbah Community of the Township of Barnesville on Sunday, where he was covering a Football for Peace Tournament organized by Defense Minister Brownie Samukai.
Kollie was heavily flogged on the orders of a PSU commander only identified as “Prince,” even after he had identified himself. As a result of the incident, Journalist Kollie has undergone serious medical attention and lost personal possessions.
“The extent to which Kollie was manhandled speaks to the continuing disregard for human dignity by elements within the security forces, and we demand an intelligent and speedy investigation that must yield proportionate responses,” the Press Union of Liberia noted.
“Journalists are not meant for whipping and this despicable incident causes more injury to the reputation of our country, when the government is still apportioning blames on Liberians for maintaining “past negative criticisms”.
We are concerned that the brutalization of Kollie comes barely a month after the Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) admitted to ordering the flogging of Journalists Joseph Taryon of Love FM and Alex Williams of the Reporter Newspaper, who were simply in pursuit of news.
The Press Union has already contacted authorities of the Liberia National Police to institute an immediate investigation into the matter to determine the next course of action.