Open Zipper was arrested in Sinoe County on Tuesday morning, April 6, 2021. The others arrested are Francis Clarke (picked up in Maryland County) and Daniel Wesseh, (arrested in River Gee County). The LNP statement further reveals that three persons are the ones named in the shocking video confession made by suspect Moses Mlabah. The LNP statement adds that the police have rearrested seven persons out of the ninety-one that were freed by rioters from Harper Central Prison, during the period of unrest. Meanwhile, during a town hall meeting in Maryland County on Monday, April 5, 2021, the Inspector General(IG) of the Liberia National Police(LNP), Colonel Patrick Sudue, expressed regrets over the brutal killing of motorcyclist Mordecial Nyemah.
Col. Sudue, who categorically condemned the violent protests, which destroyed several properties in the county, on the other hand, urged the residents and citizens of the county to stop pointing fingers at people, and unite against ritualistic killings in the county. The police chief also called on them to stand up against persons engaged in the acts by reporting them to the authorities. Importantly, he wants an immediate end to the age-old ritualistic killings in Maryland County. A nighttime curfew has since been imposed with effect from April 1 "until further notice" in Maryland County after the escape of 90 inmates from the Harper Central Jail. From 6 p.m. (1800 GMT) to 6 a.m. (0600 GMT), “this curfew will be strictly enforced by the police, who will be supported by the joint security forces,” announced President George Manneh Weah,.
President Weah warned that the government will not tolerate any "lawlessness or violence" from anyone. However, he assured that the murder demanded "the urgent attention of the government and will be promptly and thoroughly investigated". Accordingly, the curfew was prompted by the flight of prisoners after thousands of protesters vandalized the prison on March 30 in demand of justice. For several days, the protesters unconditionally demanded “the speedy trial of 18-year-old suspect Moses Mlamah, accused of murdering 22-year-old motorcyclist Mocdicious Nyemah on March 25, 2021. The victim was chopped to death by his executioner in the town of Bassiken in the Pleebo District of Maryland County, according to Liberia Police spokesman Moses Carter.
History Between 1965 and 1977 over 100 murders occurred in Maryland County, many of which were killed ritualistically due to the mutilation and removal of body parts. During the 1970s, Liberians in Maryland County were constantly under the threat of ritual murders. Between November 1976 and July 1977, 14 people had disappeared in the county prompting Liberian president William Tolbert to fire Superintendent of Maryland County, James Daniel Anderson, who failed to report the missing people. Tolbert publicly declared "Anyone who kills deliberately: The law will kill that person". These murders went unreported and uninvestigated until the murder of a local fisherman and popular singer, Moses Tweh. Tweh was abducted on June 26, 1977. His body was discovered on July 4, 1977, heavily mutilated with his eyes, ears, nose, tongue and penis removed. Prior to the discovery of Tweh's body, WrehTaryonnoh, the girlfriend of Assistant Supervisor of Schools, Francis Nyepan, was allegedly heard by a group searching for Tweh saying that "if they would be so lucky to find him, only his bones they might see". This sparked the arrest of 12 people, a majority of whom were government officials.
Arrests In July and early August 1977, 12 people were arrested: Executed James Daniel Anderson, Superintendent of Maryland County Allen Nathaniel Yancy, Representative for Maryland County, House of Representatives Francis Wlateh Nyepan, Assistant Supervisor of Schools Philip B. Seyton, Senior Inspector of the Ministry of Commerce, Maryland County Thomas Barclay, cook of Allen Yancy Wreh Taryonnoh, girlfriend of Francis Nyepan PutuDueh Died before execution Wonplu Boye, domestic servant for Francis Nyapan KoteeWeah, Chief Cook for the General Manager of the Firestone Company, Cavalla, Maryland County Pardoned TagbediWisseh, Acting Chief of Grandcess residents in Harper
Released Joshua W. Brown, Chief Security Officer, Liberia Sugar Company Teah Toby, Kru Governor The accused were forced to walk through the street naked "carrying two buckets loaded with sand". They were allegedly tortured during interrogation.
The Hanging of the Harper Seven, Liberia - 16 February 1979 During the first Harper Trial, Joshua Brown and Teah Toby were released and later became state witnesses. The other ten defendants were found guilty and sentenced to public execution by hanging. Tagbedi Wisseh appealed his conviction and was pardoned by Tolbert before execution. Wonplu Boye and Koti Weah both died before execution, it was rumored their own family members poisoned them to avoid shame. Execution On 16 February 1979, the seven remaining people convicted of Moses Tweh's murder were publicly hanged at dawn in Harper. The media dubbed them the "Harper Seven".