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Reporter attacked by security personnel

(CEMESP/IFEX) - On Wednesday, 5 August 2009, reporter Dominic Farley of the "Public Agenda" newspaper was attacked by state security personnel from the executive mansion while returning from reporting on an action aid workshop in Monrovia.

The security men, according to Farley, were riding in a white government mini-van with the inscription "Ministry of State Employees Only".

The reporter was trying to establish the cause of a motor vehicle accident involving the mini-van in which the state security men were riding.

He was immediately confronted by two of the security officers from the van, who requested that he identify himself.

According to Farley, he immediately identified himself but the officers seemed determined to stop him they violently rushed him and seized his note pad, while attempting to force him into their van.

The management of "Public Agenda" newspaper told CEMESP that requests by their staff to have Farley's notepad returned were ignored, and that staff were subject to insults and assaults from the security officers.

The management says it is surprised at such uncivilized behaviour from officers who are supposed to demonstrate good manners in public and who claimed to have come from the office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

This is the second brutal incident against Farley. The first took place when a pick-up truck full of products drove off the street and almost went into the river. Security men were caught on camera taking some of the truck's goods. The reporter's camera was seized but was later returned following the intervention of "Public Agenda"'s editior.

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