Battared Journalist Throble Suah in Critical Condition, Flown to Ghana

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

January 13, 2002

The Perspective received reports from our sources in Ghana and Liberia indicating that Throble Suah, the Inquirer Newspaper reporter, who was severely beaten on December 14 by Liberian Security forces was flown to Accra Saturday night.

The journalist was flown to Ghana after the Catholic Hospital in Monrovia gave him up. The Media Foundation for West Africa is said to have arranged the trip for the battered newspaper reporter. Reports say Throble Suah's condition is so bad that he is completely blind, lost his whole sense of memory, and his legs cannot move. When he arrived in Accra, airline's personnel and a friend who accompanied the stricken journalist had to use a wheelchair to take him off the plane. Mr. Suah was accompanied to Ghana by Moses Gray - a friend and fellow reporter.

The journalist was attacked by members of Liberia's notorious security force, Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) as “he was returning from seeing a visitor off." According to news reports, security agents wanted know who Mr. Suah was. He complied by identifying himself as a journalist working with the Inquirer Newspaper. After identifying himself, the uniformed armed men reportedly told him that they were looking for journalists working with the Inquirer, The News Newspaper and Radio Veritas. According to Mr. Suah, they specifically asked for VOA Correspondent and Press Union of Liberia Secretary-General Winston Monboe."

Shortly after that the armed began to assault "him by kicking, punching and striking with gun-butts over all his body... One of the dreaded agents pointed an AK-47 rifle in Suah's ear, threatening to blow his brains out, and that nothing would come out of it." The badly beaten journalist was rushed to a local hospital, where he had been for nearly a month until his condition deteriorated, and the hospital gave him up.

Meanwhile, sources in Monrovia say many churches held special prayer services Sunday for the safety of independent media practitioners. The services were held in recognition of the deteriorating relations between the regime and the independent media.

This is the continuation of a well-planned and coordinated strategy of the regime to intimidate and silence the independent media in Liberia. The brutal attack against this journalist is a reminder that the homicidal dictatorship in Monrovia is determined to suppress the free flow of information.

In another development, according reports reaching The Perspective, President Taylor who is said to be one of those involved in the destabilization of Ivory Coast is planning to travel to France for the January 15 Peace Talks on the Ivorian situation. It can be recalled that during the throes of the Sierra Leone civil war Mr. Taylor masterminded the taking of 500 UN troops into hostage. Though he and the RUF had no business taking the troops into hostage, he was later hailed as a hero for his efforts in negotiating their release. Similary, despite the fact that fingers are pointing to him in addition to Blaise Campoare of Burkina Faso, he wants to gain some level of credibility or be considered a peacemaker by participating in the talks.

But Mr. Taylor could be a Liberian version of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet if he travels to Paris. There are threats of lawsuit from those whose family members have fallen prey to him to have him arrested should he travel to that country. Besides Taylor being ben Ladin's pal in spreading terrorism, France is now convinced that he is involved in the Ivorian war.