Mo Ali Finally Lands In Police Jail

Mo Ali, Secretary General of Unity Party (UP), has finally been detained at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in Monrovia, where he had made his second appearance for investigation into a Facebook post after two arson attacks on the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the home of Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe.

“Without being charged, more than 100 fully armed police officers have blocked me from leaving the conference room of the LNP. A particular plain clothes guy even attempted assaulting me,” Ali posted on social media.

Thereafter, UP Chairman Amin Modad, who accompanied Ali along team of lawyers on Thursday, March 25, 2021, confirmed that his Secretary General has been arrested and charged with arson, terroristic threats, and criminal attempt to commit murder, etc.

Modad disclosed that Ali has submitted peacefully to what he referred to as injustice and noted that the UP will pursue the appropriate and necessary legal actions to protect his rights and those of anyone experiencing such “flagrant injustice.”

“Their reasoning is that his Facebook posts are evidence of his involvement in the recent attacks on the National Election Commission and Justice Joseph Nagbe,” the Unity Party stated in an official response to the arrest. 

UP added: “We do not believe that his Facebook posts, only, are sufficient evidence to charge SG Mo Ali for the above mentioned crimes. We maintain that this is an effort by the Government to hold Mr. Ali as a political prisoner which we will resist using legal and political means.”

Meanwhile, opposition politician Alexander Cummings said he could not join others to accompany Ali to the police headquarters because he began his journey to Lofa County.

Yet, Cummings said he wants the Liberian government to know that the constant intimidation and harassment of opposition voices must stop.

“The “Us Versus Them” response of the Liberian government to issues that affect the entire country is inimical to our peace. The government is very divisive in its approach and constantly threatens free speech.”

Cummings reminds the government that freedom of speech is a fundamental right that must be protected at all times.

“I am very concerned about the decision of the Liberia National Police to declare Mr. Mohammed (Mo) Ali, the Secretary General of the Unity Party, one of the constituent parties of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), a “wanted man” for merely expressing a personal opinion on Facebook. The declaration of Mr. Ali as “wanted” barely a day after inviting him to the headquarters of the LNP – even after his legal representation explained why he would not immediately attend to the police invitation – is clearly an intimidation tactic of the government to use the LNP against opponents. This is alarming and unacceptable!!!”

Cummings said instead of focusing on real crimes, the government of Liberia, using the LNP as its instrument, is repeatedly going after Liberian citizens for making Facebook posts.

By doing so, the opposition politician claimed that the LNP is neglecting its constitutional duty.

Cummings added that instead of harassing law abiding citizens, it should be focused on monitoring communities to keep Liberians safe, and going after the criminals who kill Liberian professionals.

“I expect the CDC government to STOP these actions and begin respecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Liberian people, rather than wasting taxpayers’ money to harass and intimidate opponents. This behavior is definitely not conducive for a country struggling mightily to put behind its ugly past. We must all remember that war came to this country because some people in power thought they were above the law and started to suppress and harass others persistently. We are witnessing a return of those ugly days as Liberians are being harassed, and the police are being used as a weapon for intimidation.”

Cummings said he is deeply worried about the safety of not only Mo Ali, but those of his family members and all CPP leadership.

“I want to call on all Liberians to stand with Mr. Ali and ensure that his rights, and the rights of all Liberians, are respected. Liberia will not truly enjoy the fruits of democracy if citizens cannot freely express themselves and live happily doing so. Liberia Deserves Better!!!”

Ali initially showed up at the LNP headquarters on Monday, March 22, 2021 after being declared a wanted man for failing to adhere to a previous request to defend his Facebook post.

In the social media post for which Ali was invited and subsequently declared wanted, he wrote: “Dear National Elections Commission (NEC), We understand the plot. But try it and you will see what’s gonna be the end result.”

According to police spokesman H. Moses Carter, the invitation offered to the UP Secretary General was also in relationship to the arson incidence at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) and what he referred as a threatening social media post against Commissioners of the NEC.      

After finally showing up to defend the Facebook post, UP Chairman Amin Modad confirmed on Monday, March 22, 2021 that following two hours of waiting, the police team provided screenshots of Ali’s Facebook posts and requested clarity.

He said: “Our lawyers, after perusing the screenshots, requested 48 hrs. to respond formally at which time we will bring Mr. Ali back to the Police HQ. Our request was granted and SG Ali was escorted back by the delegation, led by our legal team.”

The UP Chairman expressed appreciation for the unity and support from the leadership and officials of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), the legal team as well as the partisans of the former ruling party.

Chairman Modad thanked the general public for the interest in justice and support towards what seems to be a confusing and embarrassing situation.

“Finally, I would like to express my thanks to the Inspector General and Officers of the National Police for the courtesy given our delegation and cordial discussions despite the initial unpreparedness.”

He encouraged the Police and the Ministry of Justice to do the right thing and put aside party politics.

Besides being a senior official of a political party, Modad said Ali is a peaceful citizen and thus it is the responsibility of the justice system and law enforcement agencies to protect his constitutional rights and freedom.

Chairman Modad said the UP respects the law and doesn’t subscribe to violence or illegal actions.

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