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Radio journalist beaten by police officers, detained briefly

(CEMESP/IFEX) - Officers of the Liberia National Police assigned to the provincial city of Tubmanburg in Bomi county on 1 March 2008 flogged and briefly detained journalist Edwin Clarke of Truth FM Radio, located in Liberia's capital Monrovia.

Journalist Clarke, who had gone to Tubmanburg to follow-up on a news story regarding a stolen child, was ordered beaten by the Commander of the Women and Child Protection unit of the Liberian National Police in Bomi county.

Clarke told CEMESP that he was beaten by five plainclothes Police officers following a directive by the Police commander.

As a result of the flogging, journalist Clarke sustained injuries on his left hand and parts of his body.

The journalist also told CEMESP that his US$50 wrist watch and waist belt were seized from him by the Policemen.

Clarke was later released from detention following the intervention of Bomi County Parliamentarian Tarnue Cooper.

A formal complaint according to the journalist has been filed to authorities at the Liberia National Police.

Meanwhile the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) has condemned the flogging and subsequent detention of journalist Clarke and described the action of the Police officers as an affront to free expression.

CEMESP is therefore calling on the Leadership of the Liberia National police to act swiftly in investigating the matter, and subsequently bring the perpetrators to justice.

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