The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia is demanding urgent action to be taken to arrest, investigate and prosecute all militant groups to avoid anything that would undermine the peace and security of the state before the 2023 general presidential elections
The platform’s Secretary General, Adama Dempster, said the human rights community is deeply concerned over the increasing wave of human rights abuses and violations occurring on a daily basis in Liberia, particularly the attack perpetrated by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change Council of Patriots on UL students.
Addressing a press conference in Monrovia, Mr. Dempster claimed that this action is posing a greater security threat amongst citizens, pro-democracy groups, and human rights organizations. According to him, the human rights community has also observed the attitudes of some national security officers, especially the Liberia National Police as these human rights violations continue.
The human rights community called on the government to protect all residents, ensure respect for the rule of law and speak against the lawlessness and unexplained killings as well as mysterious deaths going on in the country over the past years.
Mr. Dempster expressed disappointment in the Ministry of Justice and the security sectors for the unprofessional manners in dealing with the lawlessness in society and called for urgent action to enhance national security for all.
The statement called on the international partners and diplomatic missions in Liberia to ensure the government adheres to international standards for human rights protection, peace, and security as these are fundamental rights that need to be protected and guaranteed protection for all Liberians irrespective of political affiliations and wealth.
Additionally, the human rights community’s statement said, the posture and behavior of these self-styled militant groups sponsored by political parties and politicians threaten national security, and undermine the rule of law and gains made to sustain the democratic gains made so far.
Dempster made it clear that this action moving into the elections will increase fear for citizens, especially women who are interested in contesting for political offices as there is fear in the country for the level of unexplained killings, deaths, and violence.
The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia maintained that this act of mob violence is unacceptable.
“We, therefore, call on the regional and international community, along with civil society and concerned citizens to engage and follow up with the government to act in the interest of peace and justice for all.”
The CS Human Rights Advocacy Platform reminded the Liberian government about its obligation under Chapter 3, Article 17 of the 1986 Liberian Constitution which provides that: “all persons at all times, in an orderly peaceful manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances.
Also, Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, (ICCPR) provides that: (the right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized; no restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right).
Furthermore, Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights states that: (every individual has the right to assemble freely with others).
All democracies strive to respect and protect the human rights of citizens. Human rights mean those values that reflect respect for human life and human dignity.
Democracy emphasizes the value of every human being. Examples of human rights include freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, the right to equality, and the right to education.
Reported by: Augustine octavius