Another NGO Asks Police to Release Reports in Deaths of Victoria Zayzay and Two Children

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Another civil society institution, Campaigners for Change, has declared support for the Independent Human Rights Investigators on its position in the matters involving the deaths of Victoria Zayzay, and Alvin Moses and Ruben Joe.

Vandalark Patricks, the Executive Director of Campaigners for Change, told The Bush Chicken via phone that his organization joins IHRI in calling for the results of the autopsy reportedly conducted by Ghanaian pathologists on the body of Victoria Zayzay.

“We support the Independent Human Rights Investigators on these issues, and we want to join them to call on the government to give account for the deaths of these three citizens,” Patricks said.

According to him, the delay of the autopsy report was deliberate on the part of the Minister of Justice, Benedict Sannoh. He said the investigations conducted by his group established that the late Zayzay died after she was raped in the police cell.

He also said that an earlier conversation with Zayzay’s family revealed that the deceased had no known illnesses before her detention at the Zone 6 police depot.

“The police must take responsibility in this matter,” he added.

On the issue of the two children, the civil society leader praised the IHRI for its interventions and promised also to get to the root of the matter.

The IHRI, during a recent press conference at its national office in Monrovia, called on the Ministry of Justice to make public the full identity of the Ghanaian national who conducted the autopsy and also to release the results.

The IHRI Founding National Director and Lead Investigator Adama Dempster told journalists at the press conference that in over two months of investigation into the death of Zayzay, the government has not arrived at any conclusion. Sannoh had said the autopsy was inconclusive in its results.

Dempster contended that the “inclusiveness of the autopsy” should not be a justification for the long delay.

He criticized Sannoh for his recent statement that a second autopsy was required to arrive at any conclusion. Dempster argued that there was no need for another autopsy when the report of the first examination had not been released.

At the same time, the IHRI Lead Investigator is calling on the Liberia National Police to state specifically how they determined the cause of death of Alvin Moses and Ruben Joe.

He called on the LNP to make a clarification on a “coroner Inquest” mentioned in the preliminary police investigation.

According to him, the “coroner inquest” in the report refers to an examination involving a team of jurors members of the community and a court reporter. However, the IHRI is demanding information from the police on when and where the “coroner inquest” was conducted.

Efforts by The Bush Chicken to get a response from Police Spokesman Sam Collins failed as his phone was switched off.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Gbatemah Senah

Senah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. Between 2017 and 2019, he won six excellent reporting awards from the Press Union of Liberia. They include a three-time Land Rights Reporter of the Year, one time Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Human Rights Reporter of the Year.

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