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Reporters attacked by political partisans

(CEMESP/IFEX) - 7 September 2011 - Four reporters of the Renaissance Communication Incorporated (RCI) were on 6 September 2011 attacked by dozens of partisans of the opposition Liberty Party in Liberia.

The Liberty Party partisans assaulted the RCI reporters for attempting to report on the former party chairman, who was being released from prison. The assault was accompanied by threats to damage the cameras and recorders belonging to the journalists.

Reporters Richmond Paye, Musa Kanneh, Bettie Johnson and Jutonu Kollie had gone to cover the release of the former chairman, Mr. Israel Arkinsaya, from the Monrovia Central Prison.

Mr. Arkinsaya, also a business partner of the Lone Star Cell GSM Company, was arrested and detained for a few hours on criminal charges for allegedly issuing bad cheques to the GSM Company. The cheques, in the sum of US$2 million were reportedly rejected by the Guarantee Trust Bank in Liberia.

Upon his release, Mr. Arkinsaya to the management of RCI terming the situation as unfortunate and attributed the attack on the reporters to what he called "an emotionally charged environment."

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