“Seven out of the 18 Grand Gedeans in jail are getting blind”

Alfred Gezaye | December 1, 2013

A group calling itself, Concerned Citizens of Grand Gedeh County says seven of the 18 men from Grand Gedeh who are currently behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison are going blind.

Augustine P. Jolo, Chairman of the group said their kinsmen are presently on hunger strike for the past days now due to their condition.

Speaking to this paper over the weekend in Monrovia, Mr. Jolo alleged that the 18 men were flogged all over their bodies including their faces and eyes when arrested by security men for their alleged involvement in mercenary activities in the Ivory Coast.

The Chairman of the Concerned Citizens of Grand Gedeh County said from the flogging of the men seven of their brothers’ eyes have been affected.

“Now, their eyes have been affected. Currently, they are partially blind as a result of flogging during their arrest by the LNP and as a result of the eyes problems facing the individuals; the 18 Grand Gedeans started a hunger strike since three days today,” the group’s Chairman said.

He said the 18 jailed Grand Gedeans are refusing food and visitors until the court resumes their case that was indefinitely suspended since nearly three months ago.

Mr. Jolo named those getting blind as Prince Youty, Sam Tarley, Stephen Glorto, Fred Chealey, Emmanuel Saymah, Isaac Taryon and Christopher Leegbo.

He said his group believes that the failure of the government of Liberia to rearrange the 18 Grand Gedeans before the criminal court D is a delayed tactics of the government to keep their brothers in jail.

Chairman Jolo said the Concerned Citizens of Grand Gedeh County believes that the government of Liberia must be held responsible for the present eyes problems affecting seven of their kinsmen at the Monrovia Central prison.

He said as the hunger strike by the 18 Grand Gedeans continue in demand of justice and good health condition, they will hold government responsible if any of their men dies or gets blind in prison.

The Concerned Citizens of Grand Gedeh County immediately calls on the government of Liberia to urgently solve the current health problems facing the above mentioned individuals in keeping with the United Nations General Assembly resolution 44/111 which states “prisoners shall have access to the health services available in the country without discrimination on the grounds of their legal situation.”

The group also noted that the government should unconditionally and immediately take their brothers to court for their guilt or innocence to be established under the jurisdiction of a competent court of record within the November term of court.