Torture Victim or Beggar?

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Firebrand activists Vandalark R. Patricks making what appears to be a torture allegation has offered an emotional apology to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, telling her that he is not a rude kid.

Patricks is facing sedition and criminal libel charges for reading a weird statement attributed to some civil society organizations and political parties, while making case for the United Nations Mission stay in the country than its scheduled June, 2016 departure date.

The activist has confessed he is an admirer of the 77-year-old leader and that he has Johnson-Sirleaf’s advocacy trait.

“Madam President, I want you to please understand today that I personally do not hate you! I am on record for praising some of the good things you do. From 2010 to present, I have hailed some of your good works, even-though I am strong critic of your administration.

“More besides, I am a bold person and some of my boldness was borrowed from your days of activism. In all that I have done and continue to do Madam President, I have never been rude to you in my thoughts and words because doing so will not only make me go against my African tradition but will serve as a direct insult to my biological mother and the women of Liberia and Africa at-large,” Patricks said in his open letter to the President.

He made an implicit request for dialogue with the President on issues being raised and blaming ‘sycophantic’ cabinet officials and ‘overzealous’ security chiefs for manufacturing lies to bring him into conflict with the leader.

Patricks has alarmingly alleged the police injected him with an unknown substance that has caused him not to function as a normal human being with sign of physiological trauma. He has pleaded with the President for medical treatment outside of the country.

Patricks: “Your Excellency, since I came from prison, I have not function as a normal person. My heart now beats faster and burns inside severely as though someone rubs pepper on it. More besides, my right foot and side to where I was injected by the armed police officer continues to burn and get me weak at times which makes it impossible for me to walk around freely sometime. I continue to feel weak with low appetite.”

Here is Vandalark R. Patricks’ OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA, MADAM ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF

Dear President Sirleaf:

REF: EXPRESSION OF FEAR FOR MY LIFE

I have the honor most respectfully to bring to your attention my horrible situation which has gotten me psychologically traumatized whenever I think on it day and night.

Your Excellency, few weeks ago I read a press statement that was authored by the Joint Action Committee in which we cited some of the ills in your government and our plan to peacefully assemble our supporters to petition the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) on March 11, 2016 to extend their tenure until after the 2017 general and president elections.

Right after the issuance of that press statement, some of your security personnel and sycophants who smile with you one day and do the worst behind you immediately began misconstruing our peaceful intent to petition UNMIL. Some of them were heard on radio saying that I have accused you personally of killing the late Harry Greaves, one of your best friends which I want to surmise. Moreover, some of them presented me as a devil which eventually led to my arrest and subsequent incarceration at the Monrovia Central Prison for 8 days.

Your Excellency, when I was taken at the Monrovia Central Prison, I was handcuffed and severely beaten by some armed police officers who escorted me at the prison. It is also sad to inform you that one of the armed police officers injected me with something while in route to the prison compound. When I began crying and trying to see exactly the evil thing he was doing to me as we were driving towards the prison compound, he immediately hit me with his elbow, thereby preventing me to see what he was infusing in me.

Upon arrival at the prison, I saw blood coming from my body, specifically to where the sharp instrument was used on me. I immediately reported the incident to the prison superintendent and showed him the mark but he did absolutely nothing to take me for proper medical checkup. I was only given pain tablets at the prison compound when I insisted that I wanted to go for better treatment since no lab was done before receiving the pain tablets.

Your Excellency, since I came from prison, I have not function as a normal person. My heart now beats faster and burns inside severely as though someone rubs pepper on it. More besides, my right foot and side to where I was injected by the armed police officer continues to burn and get me weak at times which makes it impossible for me to walk around freely sometime.

I continue to feel weak with low appetite. I have been to SOS Clinic in Congo Town for treatment but have been told that the hospital does not have the sophistication to determine an infused substance in the human body that could lead to death after a period of time. I was only diagnosed of typhoid and ulcer, sicknesses that I have not been diagnosed of for the past six months.

I was also advised to travel and seek proper medical checkup abroad before it gets too late.

Despite the horrible situation I now find myself in as a result of the deadly action carried out against me by this helmet masked police officer who acted on the orders of 105 at the LNP, nothing has been done to protect my life. I personally saw this 105 receiving and making phone calls for the arrival of the armed police officers at the Temple of Justice after he presented me to the authority of the court.

I continue to have sleepless nights due to the pain and trauma I now go through as a result of the injury sustained. I have complained on local and international radios about what has happened to me when I was asked by local and international journalists but it appears like those who are supposed to address my health situation are either afraid to act positively for fear of losing their jobs when it is noticed or are not just interested in addressing my health problem at the moment.

Madam President, I want you to please understand today that I personally do not hate you! I am on record for praising some of the good things you do. From 2010 to present, I have hailed some of your good works, even-though I am strong critic of your administration.

If you can recall Madam President, in 2007, I led a peaceful protest at Cuttington University demanding the improvement in students’ services for the promotion of quality education at that noble institution. You were called by authorities of Cuttington who lied at the time that they were under house arrest and informed Hon. Munah Sieh, the then Police Director that we were planning to burn the facilities of the university as well. As a tasked-oriented leader, you drove to Cuttington on April 28, 2007 and had separate meetings with the Administration of Cuttington and the student body.

Upon hearing our stories as students and seeing what we were complaining about, you spoke to the student body at the Epiphany Chapel in these words “Look, I was told some bad things and some good things by the Administration of this University. I have come to see for myself. I just met with the Administration of the University and I also met my children, I mean the small book people. What I can say as your President is this: The claims of the Administration that they cannot improve the facilities of the University due to lack of money are legitimate. The claims of the students that they do not have quality student services here at the university are also legitimate. I now want all of you to dialogue and move this school business forward because when the international people start hearing all kinds of protests here and there, they will not come to invest their money and you will all suffer”.

I am brining this to your attention as a reminder and to also inform you that if you just begin to do a follow up on most of the things some of your security personnel and cabinet ministers, including those who claimed to love you and your work, you will realize that some of them are not only fake but they give you information that are intended to extort money from your government and make you belief that they are on top of security matter in the country. I am a harmless person and I have never participated in any arm conflict in this country for people to be afraid of me.

More besides, I am a bold person and some of my boldness was borrowed from your days of activism. In all that I have done and continue to do Madam President, I have never been rude to you in my thoughts and words because doing so will not only make me go against my African tradition but will serve as a direct insult to my biological mother and the women of Liberia and Africa at-large.

There are others who have already told you that I lied on the arm police officer for injecting me. I have nothing to lie about but am writing you as a way of bringing to your attention some of the horrible things that are done under the cover of darkness by those who control our security in Liberia.

In 2013, I was kidnapped by officers of the NSA and the LNP and placed behind bars at an unknown location. Both the police and the NSA denied ever having me in their custody. However, after three days in dingy NSA cell, silence was finally broken by the Police Director and the National Security Agency (NSA) that I was in the hands of the police, even-though I was still in the cell at the National Security Agency (NSA) where your son, Mr. Fombah Sieleaf presides as Director General. I did not accuse the NSA and the LNP of physically torturing me. I would have said the worst about the NSA and the LNP to buy public sympathy. This would have painted the security of the state very bad, especially so when there was a need to do so but I did not because it did not happen!

My work as a civil society activist is been admired by many persons in Liberia. Interestingly, your son has provided over 10 scholarships to my organization, SURE-Liberia (Campaigners for Change) which were given to students at Convent, Christ the Kind Catholic School, Tubman High, John Lewis Morris United Methodist High School, Isaac A. Davis, J.J. Roberts and Don Bosco Technical High School.

In 2015, I applauded you so high when you mentioned that you were going to submit bills for the establishment of Criminal Court F to fast-track corruption cases and bills that will also decriminalize draconian laws which are currently on our books.

This is a clear indication that I have no bad intention for the state, including you Madam President as it has been speculated by many sycophants who only seek favor from you by presenting lies about others.

I was told before by my late father that open rebuke is better than secrete praises and that is the reason why we try hard at times to bring to your attention some of the things that are carried on which you do not know about in the form of criticism. When this happens, those who are caught in the web of those ills normally respond aggressively and make me to look bad in your eyes and the general public. But I have always believed that no matter how long a thief hides in darkness, day will always break and that thief will be caught.

Finally, I see my imprisonment as a misdirected aggression and an attempt to paint you bad. I am the only torch bearer of my family at the moment and they depend on me for survival. My brother was badly affected by the war. He lost his left foot when he was picked up from the classroom and taken to the warfront by rebel forces in 1992 at St. Allemano’s Elementary School in LAC, Lower Grand Bassa County. It is my right to make such constitutional demand which am doing responsibly.

I am not currently in a stable condition since this incident occurred and need your urgent intervention to seek medical checkup outside Liberia.

Thanks for your understanding and hope to hear from you soon Madam President.

Yours respectfully,
Vandalark R. Patricks
Liberian Citizen