After Thirteen Hours, Sixteen Doctors Restored Journalist Suah's Sight

By: Abraham Zoedae

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

January 14, 2002

Throble Suah, the Liberian Journalist who lost his sight after severely being beaten by five armed president security officers in Monrovia regained his sight yesterday. Reports from Ghana said Suah regained his sight at 10: 15pm.

Suah was beaten on December 14th by five elite presidential guards, Anti Terrorist Unit, while on his way home from seeing a visitor off. He gradually began losing his sight and had gone completely blind for over seven days until last night.

Sixteen medical doctors carried out various medical procedures lasting thirteen hours after which Throble Suah regained his sight. Reports from Ghana said, the doctors, Dr Edmond N. Belle, one of Ghana's Top Torture doctor, Dr. Stephen Akafo, a renowned Eye specialist and others were drawn from various hospitals in Ghana started the medical examination and process on Suah at 9 am until 10: 15pm when Suah regain his sight.

After regaining his sight, Throble Suah shouted, "I can see you," he pointed his finger from one doctor to the next including his friend and colleague, Moses Gray who was also present.

"You are my God Sent redeemers," Suah said to the doctors.

"Oh, God you are great, thank you doctor, thank you!" Suah shouted and bowed his head in further expression of his gratitude.

Information from Ghana said the journalist is "in a happy mood, laughing and has stopped the constant crying and can now feed himself."

However, he is still bedridden but the doctors, according to sources, promised to do their best for Journalist Suah to sit, walk and stand on his legs.

Until that December 14th incident, Suah had been an active journalist and travel extensively within the West African Sub-region, including Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast among others where he reported on wide range on issues.

One of his recent coverage was the July 2002 Ouagoudou, Liberia Leadership Forum geared towards restoring democracy and peace in Liberia. Suah's stories from the conference were considered crucial and detailed.

After the conference, Suah did not immediately return to Monrovia, he traveled to the Republic of Guinea where he did extensive coverage of the situation of Liberian refugees and the impact of the Liberian ongoing crisis on Guinea and international humanitarian organizations.

One of Suah's reports "Over 2000 Liberians Hiding in the (Guinean) Forest" was a banner headline of The Inquirer newspaper. The story drew President Charles Taylor's attention. In a live press conference, President Charles Taylor said Suah and the UNHCR officials from Guinea were "playing with the lives of Liberians". Suah had included among those he interviewed for his reports top UNHCR officials in Guinea.

Taylor said the UNHCR's officials assessment and Suah's report were slanted to down play " the war against him by enemies of his government" and Suah was siding with enemies of his government.

After Taylor's comments, security officials began their surveillance on Suah. There were constant visits and surveillance of his home. As a result of the visits, he was forced to abandon his residence and started sleeping elsewhere but had to change his sleeping places regularly.

Even after the December 14th attacked which have left his unable to walk, reports from Monrovia said, the journalist's home was still under constant surveillance and visits from security officers who were asking for the where abouts of the already injured journalist.

Information from Ghana where Suah is presently undergoing advanced medical treatment is that he jumbles up his conversation. For example, Suah woke up yesterday morning asking his colleague and friend who has become his help, Moses Gray, that they should walk to the "Adam Atah Shop," a shop located on Gurley street in Monrovia to drink some tea and talk to friends.

Even after Moses told Suah they were in Ghana, Suah nodded his understanding but again asked Moses Gray to bring him copies of The Inquirer newspaper. The Inquirer is published and circulated in Monrovia, Liberia.

Suah was flown to Ghana for advanced medical treatment after hospital in Monrovia said it was unable to treat the journalist because of his worsening condition. The hospital advised that journalist Suah be flown out of the country for advanced medical treatment.

Suah's trip to Ghana for advanced medical treatment is a result of efforts by the Media Foundation for West Africa, and other assistance from individuals and friends. The Media Foundation based in Accra, Ghana, is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization.

However, Attempts to speak with some of the medical doctors on Suah's situation was not possible.