Debates and discussions at popular forum suspended

This statement was originally published on on 17 July 2020.

A Magisterial Court in one of Liberia’s ideal counties has ordered a total shutdown of all activities at a famous intellectual exchange center in the port City of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

The Buchanan Magisterial Court on Monday, July 13, 2020 placed a “stay order” on all Intellectual debates at the “All People One People Intellectual Forum” after a suit was filed against before it on alleged disorderly conduct.

The decision of the court, according to local media Ablejay TV came after Mr. Solomon Kollie and Bobby Gibson, two leaders of the forum, took to court supporters of senatorial aspirant Vicent Willie for allegedly “misbehaving at the forum”.

Over six persons including Victor Flomo, Blopogar Corprol, Olando Boe, and others who are yet to be named have faced charges and are undergoing court trial in the city which is about 87 miles from Monrovia.

Many in the county were astonished with the decision of the court to close the famous forum which over the years has been used as a major sources of news and information sharing as well as a center for the exchange of opinions.

Young people from all political, social and religious persuasions have for years used the “All People One People Intellectual Forum” to demand answers from their leaders.

The fracas which led the court to issue a ban on all activities at the center is also attributed to the appearance at the center of Former Superintendent of Grand Bassa County Levi Demmah who defended the re-election bid of current and only female Senator Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence but was publicly booed by the team of young men.

Victor Flomo and others had accused the forum’s leadership of allegedly stage-managing the gathering for the former county superintendent to deliberate.

Many young people in the county are said to be planning a mass demonstration against the shutdown of the forum by the Buchanan Magisterial Court.

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Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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