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Affected communities appeal to Ellen

Citizens of affected communities in Nimba County are appealing to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to pardon their children, who were sentenced for 10 years for their involvement in violent demonstrations against the mining company, ArcelorMittal in 2013.

Speaking to The NewDawn, over the weekend in Zolowee and Gbapa towns in Nimba, they appealed to the Liberian leader to pardon the convicts, and attributed their actions to the work of the devil.

A spokesman for the affected citizens, Darlington  Jacob,said the sentence by Grand Bassa County Circuit Court Judge Yusiff Kaba, is not good news for them.

A lady, whose husband is among the convicts, said she had miscarriage after hearing news of the incarceration. 

According to her, since her man left home, she has no means of getting food, and her kids no longer go to school, including lack of basic necessities.

The NewDawn Nimba correspondent, who visited Zolowee and Gbapa, said normal activities have ceased with the citizens looking sad.

An eighty-three years old woman in tears told our correspondent that, since her children were arrested, she has not been able to get food on time, treatment, and other human needs.

She joined the rest of the citizens to appeal to President Johnson Sirleaf.

During a visit with President Sirleaf to Zolowee were the violent protest was held, few days after the protestors were arrested in 2013, the citizens appealed to the President to pardon their children.

Recently, Grand Bassa County Circuit Court Judge Yusiff Kabah, sentenced defendant Alfred Saye and 11 others for their role in the arson attacks against ArcelorMittal in Nimba.

According to the indictment, the protestors’ action resulted to theft, destruction, and obstruction of government function.

Our correspondent, who visited the court during the final judgment, said Judge Kabah rendered the judgment in Buchanan, after he confirmed the recent verdict of the jury, declaring them guilty of multiple criminal charges brought by the government.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing the twelve convicted Nimbaians, led by Cllr.Tiawan Gongloe, have taken exception to judge Kabah’s ruling and informed the court that they will appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment.

The judgment from Grand Bassa has created panic among citizens of Nimba County.

Some Nimbaians, who spoke to The New Dawn, noted that the sentence by Judge Kaba is too harsh.

By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba

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