On January 26, 2021, two officers with Liberia’s National Police Emergency Response Unit pushed and slapped Julius Nimely Konton Sr., the founder of the privately owned Fortune TV Liberia news website and YouTube channel, according to Konton, who spoke by phone with CPJ, and a report by the Sports Writers Association of Liberia, a local trade group.
Guards stopped Konton as he attempted to enter the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Paynesville, a suburb of Monrovia, to cover a local tournament, he said.
Konton identified himself as an accredited broadcast reporter, but the officers told him to use a different gate to access the stadium section, and then attacked him and threatened to hit him with the butts of their guns, he said.
According to Konton and a report by Fortune TV Liberia, the journalist developed a headache due to the attack and was unable to work for two days.
CPJ called and texted Liberian national police spokesperson Moses Carter, but received no replies.
CPJ has documented similar attacks and threats against journalists by security forces and civilians in the days leading up to the country’s elections in 2020.