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Sports journalist assaulted by police

(CEMESP/IFEX) - On 30 March 2011, a reporter for one of Liberia's sports dailies was brutalized by five personnel of the Liberian National Police in Monrovia. Senior Reporter Sylvester Worwee, of the "Sports Day" newspaper, got manhandled following a Liberia Football Association knock-out match played between defending champion Barracks Young Controllers (BYC) and Aries FC at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia.

The police officers who assaulted journalist Worwee were amongst several officers deployed at the stadium to ensure law and order. Chaos and anguish erupted when supporters of Aries FC ran amok after what they termed a controversial penalty was awarded to BYC, which eventually became the second and winning goal.

"Sports Day" management told CEMESP that Worwee was prevented by the police officers from photographing two female fans who were engaged in a fist fight after the game. In the process, the sport reporter was stripped half-naked and his phone and camera were damaged. The daily's management has lodged a formal complaint with the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL), for intervention.

CEMESP Executive Director Malcolm Joseph was quoted as saying that even though the president of the Liberia Football Association has expressed regrets over the situation, it is the second time in less than two months that police officers have unleashed attacks on sports journalists.

Power F.M. sports reporter Fumba Kanneh spent days in hospital as a result of wounds he sustained from police officers following a Liberia versus Ghana under 23 female soccer match played on 13 February in Monrovia.

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