The Human Rights Advocacy Civil Society Group has applauded President George Weah’s decision to grant executive clemency to 500 inmates in accordance with the constitution of Liberia.
In a statement issued by the institution on Thursday, February 23, 2022, read by it Secretary-General Adama Demster said, the number is very huge and the first in history for a President to release such a huge number of inmates in the country.
He said the overcrowdedness of prison facilities around the country is of great concern to national security and praised President Weah for his action which is in the interest of human rights promotion and protection of all persons.
Article 59 of the 1986 Constitution states that; “THE PRESIDENT MAY REMIT ANY PUBLIC FORFEITURES AND PENALTIES, SUSPEND ANY FINES AND SENTENCES, GRANT REPRIVES AND PARDONS, AND RESTORE CIVIL RIGHTS AFTER CONVICTION FOR ALL PUBLIC OFFENSES, EXCEPT IMPEACHMENT.”
The human rights group requests the Ministry of Justice through the Bureau of Correction and Rehabilitation to not lose sight of the category of convicts under the status of lesser crimes and to be more transparent in the process of selection of inmates to be considered in the number.
Mr. Demster informed the government of his institution’s full attention to the process with respect to the rule of law and transparency, as not to grant those who were charged for felony and other higher crimes pardon.
The civil society group called on the Ministries of Justice and Finance to finalize the payment arrangement of Mr. Browne Samukai public mismanaged funds, instructed by President Weah and the Court. They noted that this will set the stage for those who are entrusted with public funds to properly manage it, and this is a good sign of fighting corruption in Liberia.
It is recorded on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, President George Weah issued an Executive Proclamation granting clemency and ordering the Ministry of Justice to pardon 500 inmates where relevant. The executive pardon is for those who committed misdemeanor and capital offenses, but not related to Rapists, Armed rubbers, Murders, and other strong offenses. In that same order, President Weah suspended the two years prison sentence of Lofa County Senator-elect Browne Samukai.