Amid Harassment and Intimidation of Supporters, Brumskine Postpones Trip to Bassa

(Press Release)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

January 28, 2003

MONROVIA, JANUARY 27, 2003: Counselor Charles Walker Brumskine has reluctantly postponed his trip to Grand Bassa County. Numerous calls from citizens of Grand Bassa County during the day led to this decision. The decision was made following the Counselor’s evening security briefing and several consultations with senior staff in Grand Bassa, Monrovia, and the United States.

Among several factors which contributed to the decision to postpone the trip were:

1. Paramount Chief Samuel Jackson was arrested on Monday, January 27, 2003, by security forces upon the orders of Austin Spiller, County Chairman of the ruling NPP, without lawful authority to affect such an arrest. Chief Jackson’s crime was to be in the presence of some supporters of Cllr. Brumskine while they were putting up a welcome banner;

2. Messrs Carlos Smith and Thomas Johnson were on Saturday, January 25, 2003 arrested and detained with hardened criminals in the county;

3. The increasing number of surreptitiously armed men of the government in the County;

4. A hastily planned “meeting” at the farm of Defense Minister Daniel Chea, where all county officials, including chiefs and elders, have been mandated to attend;

5. A warning issued by Defense Minister Chea that anyone appearing on the streets [of Bassa] on tomorrow to welcome Cllr. Brumskine would be doing so at their own risk; and

6. Numerous reports of planned gunfire during the arrival celebrations of Cllr Brumskine, as manifested by the huge presence of gun toting men in the county.

Cllr Brumskine is urging the Government of Liberia to take steps to reduce the unnecessary tension that presently pervades the County, since the safety and security of the people of Grand Bassa County (and Liberia in general) are his paramount concern.

In this regard, the Office of Cllr Brumskine wishes to announce that it is pursuing every effort to ensure that the planning and implementation of this trip are carried out without incidence. The Office of Cllr. Brumskine would further emphasize that this is a significant Grand Bassa County event, during which the security of the people to freely move about and associate must be constitutionally guaranteed and lawfully protected.

The trip will be made at a later date.

K. A. Kamara
Director of Communications
Office of Charles Walker Brumskine
Inquiries: 522334/552081