A campaign to end mob violence in Liberia
The Mob Violence Crisis in Liberia
There is a growing concern over an upward trend in mob violence incidents over the past year in Liberia. From January to September 2013, there were 46 reported mob related instances, up from 32 in the same period in 2012. This 44% increase is particularly disturbing as these activities are seemingly more violent, with a tendency to kill victims and turn against security forces who attempt to intervene. At least 12 victims were confirmed to be killed by angry mobs, while many others sustained serious injuries requiring hospitalization.
What is Mob Violence?
Recently, community members, out of anger or frustration set a police station and a court houses ablaze in Paynesville and Bushrod Island, under the erroneous perception that the establishment was shielding known criminals. It is criminal to engage in any illegal act, but it is also criminal to damage state infrastructures used for administration of Justice or to lynch a suspected criminal. There have been instances where the criminals themselves are smart enough to throw the chase away from themselves and direct the mob to an unsuspecting innocent bystander. An innocent person suffered because of the emotional reaction the public who could not wait for the police to act.
Let Police Correct the Crime
The law says that any person accused of committing a crime is presumed ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in a competent court which exercises appropriate jurisdiction on such matters and persons; and that an accused person is entitled to bail as a constitutional right, unless in capital offences or if the offence committed is a non-bailable offence. So people must understand this, and be patient to allow the system of jurisprudence play itself out.