Gboko Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monrovia-The spokesperson of the Liberia National Police, H. Moses Carter, said at least five persons who were taken into protective custody during a violent attack which rocked the quiet suburbs of Sinkor has been released.
The five individuals were part of a larger group of people who were attending a birthday party in Sinkor at a Drop-in-center owned and operated by Population Services International (PSI) when they came under a massive attack from dwellers of the community over suspicion they were “gays.”
A total of five persons were brought to our headquarters. Some of them sustained injuries as a result of the stone-throwing.”~Police Spokesman, H.Moses Carter
The party, according to sources, was the 33rd birth anniversary of a PSI’s staff and the entity seized the occasion to boost attendance at the DIC, following a previous incident last year that dampened the interest of key populations who frequent it for regular HIV/AIDS checkup.
Carter, speaking to journalRAGE, said the five individuals will not be forwarded to court as they are victims who were saved by the Police, and prosecution is out of the question as they were not “caught in the act of homosexuality.”
“A total of five persons were brought to our headquarters,” he said. “Some of them sustained injuries as a result of the stone-throwing.”
Liberian law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults. Articles 14.74, 14.79 and 50.7 [of the Penal Code of 1976] consider “voluntary sodomy” as a first-degree misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one-year imprisonment. Liberia’s gay community says harassment and discrimination are widespread.
He furthered that the Police could not arrest any of the assailants. “It was during the night hours. We only managed to restore calm in the midst of the stone-throwing.”
PSI Liberia continues to remain silent on probes by journalRAGE over the level of security measures employed which would have staved off the attack from community members.
But in a response published in The Independent Probe, PSI Liberia Country Director, Rajiv Dua, said rumor circulating on social media the entity was hosting a “gay party” is “rumor of evil.”
According to The Independent Probe, Dua stated that the party hosted by ‘Saranna,’ was the birthday of one of their clients at the center during which time PSI peer educators would take advantage to conduct HIV/AIDS testing and counseling to those valuable groups most of whom show up during the night hours.
“They invaded our premises because of wrong rumors,” Dua told the Probe. “We provide HIV & AIDS testing and counseling at that premises and the party was set up to ensure that greater population of this valuable group show up to be tested and counsel but unfortunately people with no idea. of what was happening invaded and manhandled them.”
However, observers say the imbroglio at the center could have been prevented if the organization had employed stringent security measures. Police spokesman, H. Moses Carter, told journalRAGE “the police only got involved when the altercation broke out.”
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