RSF calls for investigation after 100 armed individuals attacked a Liberian daily newsroom, injuring two staff members
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a night-time attack by around 100 armed individuals on the headquarters of New Dawn, Liberia’s leading privately-owned newspaper, in which two employees were injured. The authorities must conduct an investigation in order to identify and punish those responsible.
Armed with machetes, clubs and knives, the assailants stormed New Dawn’s premises in the capital, Monrovia, at around 1:30 a.m. on 18 October, when the night shift was supervising the printing of the newspaper.
The assailants took equipment, including phones, and beat two employees. But their injuries were not life threatening and they returned to work at the start of this week, said managing editor Othello Garblah, who rushed to the newspaper as soon as learned that an attack was under way and got there before the assailants left.
The newspaper filed a complaint about the attack but the police have not carried out any investigation. New Dawn also requested police protection but a week has gone by without any being provided, although the newspaper was the target of a similar night-time attack by around 100 people in August 2022.
This attack on New Dawn’s premises, which occurred between the two rounds of the presidential election, is unacceptable. Press freedom must be preserved and protected, especially when elections are taking place. RSF condemns this invasion and calls on the authorities to conduct an investigation, punish those responsible and install police protection around the newspaper’s premises.
Garblah said the assailants were “zogos”, homeless people living on Monrovia’s streets, some of whom are sometimes paid by politicians to carry out crimes. Garblah nonetheless insisted that at this point, he has “no reason to believe someone sent them”.
Only a police investigation could determine who was responsible for the attack.