The Liberia National Police has arrested and is investigating 18 individuals claiming to be students of the United Methodist University, following a violent protest at the Ministry of Commerce on Friday May 13, 2017, that disrupted normal working activities at the Ministry.
The protestors are being questioned in connection to their involvement in the protest. The 18 individuals in police custody informed Crime Services investigators that they were part of a group calling itself “Citizens for Open Society and Transformation” that are seeking the resignation of the Minister of Commerce over his alleged failure to address the issue of “proliferations of expired goods on the Liberian market”. The protestors’ action interrupted the smooth flow of both vehicular and human traffic and business activities along Ashman Street for several hours, before the intervention of the Liberia National Police. The LNP officers who responded on the scene came under serious attack by protestors who resulted into throwing stones and other foreign objects that led to three Police Support Unit officers sustaining injuries at different degrees. The police said it has also arrested the ring leaders of the violent protest action. The LNP named the protest leaders as Eugene William, Ryes Willie and David Germu. At the same time the Liberia National Police says it will not tolerate any form of violence from individuals who may want to undermine the peace and security of the country, especially as the country moves to the Presidential and Representatives Elections. The LNP in a statement issued Saturday May 13, 2017 said while it respects the rights of individuals within the Liberian society to exercise their constitutional rights, such rights must be done within the confines of the law, warning that it will deal drastically with anyone or group of individuals under the rule of law that may want to disrupt the peace of the country.