SWAL Secretary General, Mr. Julius Nimely Konton, was assaulted by an officer of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police (LNP with badge number 2132 ,while covering the National County Sports Meet (NCSM) quarterfinals on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at the SKD Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. Due to the incident, Journalist Konton, who is also an Executive Mansion reporter, could not cover the president's annual message as a result of the aftermath pain. He is, however, undergoing medication at home.
SWAL, the governing body of Sports Writers in Liberia, in a statement released Monday, January 25, 2021, described the situation as troubling and a serious hindrance to sports Journalists preforming their task at the SKD Sports Complex. SWAL said it is disheartening that Journalists continue to be attacked despite the huge publicities that are being the National County Sports Meet. It is exactly one year since FrontpageAfrica’s Sports Editor and full member of SWAL Christopher walker was disgracefully dragged and manhandled by the joint security at SKD, while carrying out his reportorial duty as an assigned and accredited journalist covering the NCSM, as up till press time, no results from the so-call and empty investigation has not been made public.
Just one year ag, the same situation resurfaced involving SWAL's Secretary General Konton, who was pushed and slapped by an ERU officer with badge number 2132 and threatened to be beaten with a gun butt. The SWAL Chief Scribe after distributing his members passes as part of his duty later on tried to make his way into the stadium to do his live commentary, but was blocked and prevented from entering through the VIP entrance even though he displayed his media pass and explained to them that he is the SG of SWAL and the assigned sports reporter for the county meet by MYS in Montserrado, yet he was not given ears.
He later identified one of the MYS staffs and tried to again explain and ask her why he should not use the VIP entrance, but rather gate five, it was at that point the ERU officer stepped in slapped, and pushed him. SWAL is therefore demanding an immediate action from the organizers (Ministries of Youth and Sports and Internal Affairs), as well as the LNP to avoid the recurrence of the repeated unprofessional attacks on media practitioners.