MONROVIA, Montserrado – The advocacy group, Campaigners for Change, has threatened a mass protest against the government of Liberia on March 11th.
The group’s Executive Director Vandalark Patricks said that the protest is in response to the government’s alleged failure to properly investigate the death of Former Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company Managing Director, Harry Greaves.
Greaves’ naked corpse was found on a beach behind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, miles away from his belongings at the RLJ Kendeja Resort and Villas in Paynesville.
Patricks said the government has continued to lie and used delay tactics in investigating the death of Greaves and other citizens including Victoria Zayzay. Zayzay was discovered dead in a police cell in October last year in what was labelled a suicide by police. The initial autopsy result has not found evidence of a suicide.
Patricks condemned the report of an autopsy conducted on Greaves by a team of American Pathologists headed by Dr. Thomas Bennett.
He called the result autopsy fake and said the government had lied to the Liberian people.
“The historical record of Dr. Bennett is questionable, and we do not accept the report of the autopsy conducted by him,” he told The Bush Chicken this past Wednesday.
Bennett was the same pathologist who executed the autopsy for the late Angel Togbah, when government lawyers disputed the results.
“Why would the government hire the services of the same pathologist whose report it rejected just a few years ago?” Patricks said.
Patricks was referring to a July 2015 report by the US-based Flathead Beacon that Benett had been asked to stop conducting autopsies on babies and young children because of his “questionable findings in several Iowa cases.” Notably, Bennett was not asked to stop conducting autopsies on adults.
Further, Patricks asked leaders of opposition political parties to join his organization’s struggle for justice and protest on March 11.
“We have asked opposition political parties to join us now because the Liberian people in next year’s elections will elect people who have respect for human rights and dignity,” he said.
Patricks’ threat of a protest comes in the wake of a Front Page Africa news report that said the autopsy contradicted a summary report by medical staff at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center. Specifically, the newspaper reported that the summary report noted that Greaves’ rectum was “widely dilated and oozing blood,” while the autopsy found “no gross evidence of antemortem traumatic injuries” or of “ any anorectal trauma or penetration.”
On Friday, February 19, Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh acknowledged that the government was concerned about the apparent discrepancies in the two reports. He announced measures by the government to bring those issues to rest.
“I have initiated consultations with another professional forensic body in the United States with the view to engaging a Pathologist of their choosing to come to Liberia so as to review the two reports and to give a professional opinion,” Sannoh said. “And where warranted to conduct another forensic examination on the body of Mr. Greaves.”
The justice minister also announced that two law enforcement agents had arrived on Thursday to assist the Liberia National Police in the investigation. The activist calling for the mass protest notably called for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s resignation in 2013 for her “refusal to address the issue of rampant corruption, unemployment, marginalization of the poor, illegal selling of our land to foreign companies, selective justice, and the continuous sale of Liberia’s natural resources to foreigners at the detriment of the masses.” culled www.bushchicken.com/Gbatemah Senah