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Presidential security service personnel assault journalist

(CEMESP/IFEX) - Peter Fahn, a journalist working with the government-owned "New Liberia" newspaper, was assaulted by a member of President Sirleaf's security service identified as Ansu Johnson.

According to reports, on 23 March 2010 Fahn went to cover proceedings at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting taking place in Monrovia at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex when Special Security Service (SSS) personnel pounced on his chest, shoved and slapped him.

Fahn reportedly showed his identification card, along with the accreditation given by the Ministry of Information for the conference, to the security agents assigned to the entrance of the conference hall. When he made his way into the hall, however, SSS agent Johnson assaulted him.

Fahn told CEMESP that, although he sustained no serious physical injuries, he was still experiencing severe internal pains even after he was treated at a local health centre.

The journalists covering the event have threatened to boycott it if nothing is done to punish Johnson.

According to some reporters, the SSS Deputy Director refused to talk to the press about the incident on the grounds that he could not discuss security matters with the press.

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