Statement in support of Mrs. Bettie Johnson-Mbayo and Dr. Moses Mbayo

The Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ) joins the ZAM Bureau Afrika and the Liberia Medical and Dental Association (LMDA) in condemning the recent attack and court action against CCIJ member Bettie Johnson-Mbayo and her husband, Dr. Moses Mbayo.

Our community is deeply troubled by the recent incident involving Bong County District #3 Representative Marvin Cole, Mrs. Johnson-Mbaya, and Dr. Mbayo It has been reported and corroborated from multiple reliable sources that Rep. Cole on the day of the incident ordered some men to physically assault Dr. Mbayo and his wife, and deflate the tires of their vehicle over a rather trivial matter which involved the doctor parking his vehicle in the alley and beside the representative’s fence. Even though Dr. Mbayo initially invited the police to the scene, Mr. Cole has taken the matter to court. This has led to charges of felonious constraint and terroristic threat. This incident runs directly counter to the constitutional guarantees of freedom of movement and the press as well as to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which the Namibian government committed itself more than 70 years ago.

CCIJ calls on the Liberian authorities to drop the charges about Mrs. Johnson-Mbayo and Dr. Mbayo as soon as possible and to hold Rep. Cole to account for his abusive behavior.