Activist Patricks freed from Monrovia Central Prison

Staff Report

MONROVIA—Rights advocate and activist Vandalark Patricks was today released from the Monrovia Central prison in the Liberian capital of Monrovia. Patricks called for peaceful protest against the govt following his release on Tuesday, and said he shunned violence, but would continue to be outspoken. “Come March 11, the sons and daughters of the ghettoes, the sons and daughters of the downtrodden, your need to assemble at the headquarters of UN to petition the UN to stay,” Patricks said as he left the walls of the Monrovia Central Prison, which saw a huge crowd and cheers from his supporters.

Patricks was picked up by state security about a week ago when he read a statement for a consortium of political parties and civic organizations that accused the government of: lying and using delay schemes in investigating the death of former LPRC managing director and prominent citizen Harry Greaves and other citizens including Victoria Zayzay, who was discovered dead in a police cell last October. Her death was termed a suicide by police, but initial autopsy report conducted refuted the evidence presented by the police, according to reports.

Patricks like many Liberians including the media condemned the autopsy conducted on Mr. Greaves by Dr. Thomas Bennett, of Nebraska University, who ruled the death of Greaves by way of drowning. Patricks termed the autopsy as fake saying “The historical record of Dr. Bennett is questionable, and we do not accept the report of the autopsy conducted by him.”

As he was released on Tuesday in Monrovia, Patricks was more vocal calling on all his supporters to gather at the Headquarters of the United Nations Mission in Liberia [UNMIL] on March 11 to appeal with the UN not to leave Liberia as the Liberian Government is unable to maintain the peace in the country. He said the mysterious disappearance of people in Liberia, ritualistic killings and human rights violations were sufficient reasons for the call. He also cited continue security threats from the state against its citizens, for the plan peaceful congregation at the UN Headquarters in Liberia.

Reports say, the political leader of the All Liberia Party (ALP), businessman Mr. Benoni Urey put up the cash bond [3000.00usd] which secured Mr. Vandalark Patricks release. Insurance companies in the country refused to grant Patricks bond, according to reports citing fear from the govt and the presidency. His cash bond was secured through the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment [LBDI].

Patricks thanked his lawyer Cllr. Taiwon Saye Gongloe for standing by him, and lavishing praises on the prominent Liberian lawyer whom he described as “luminary.” He also vowed to continue the fight and would remain vocal, calling President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf an “ordained liar,” for signing the Table Mountain accord, which called for decriminalizing free speech. He was charge with sedition and libel against the president of Liberia by the govt. Patricks said he was manhandled and assaulted by state security while in detention.

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