Free Aloysius Toe and Others Now!
By Winsley S. Nanka
November 11, 2002
It is a pity that Mr. Taylor and his government have made a profession out of arresting the touch barriers of democracy, justice, and the rule of law in Liberia. First, the human rights lawyer Tiawan Gongloe, a Liberian of impeccable reputation, was arrested because he spoke out about the failure of the Taylor presidency. Second, it was Hassan Bility, the courageous editor of the Analyst Newspaper. He was arrested mainly because he belongs to the Mandingo ethnic group and he knows former warlord Alhaji Kromah. He is also alleged to have possessed email communications from individuals the Taylor dictatorship classifies as enemies of the regime. Third, it is Aloysius Toe, a Liberian democratic activist, like Hassan Bility, Aloysius Toe’s crime is alleged possession of Charles Bennie’s email communication.
The logic of arresting Liberians because they possess email communications from people the regime classifies as enemies is beyond comprehension. Is Mr. Taylor telling the Liberian people and the world that because I receive email communications from people at the highest level of his government, therefore, I am a participant in the plunder of Liberia and the unprecedented violations of the Liberian people constitutional rights? Does that also mean that I will be indicted as a co-conspirator with Mr. Taylor and his gang of thugs by the war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone?
Another shameful utterance by Mr. Taylor is the pre-condition he has set for Hassan Bility’s release which is, to have Hassan expelled from Liberia. As repressive as the Samuel Doe regime was, it did not make such a proposal to any Liberian, even the True Whig party oligarchy did not go that far. Although, the Taylor regime does not have respect for the constitution of Liberia, let me remind the regime that it is a violation of Hassan Bility’s constitutional right to have him forced out of Liberia.
Mr. Taylor, it is uncivilized in this day and age, to arrest people on the frivolous charges that your government is concocting every day. Why is your regime designing all these schemes? Is it because the year 2003 is fast approaching and the Taylor government has nothing to show for the time in office?
Let me remind Mr. Taylor that the wave of change that is coming to Liberia is unstoppable. The regime’s current strategy of the harassment and intimidation of the foot soldiers of democracy in Liberia will not deter the Liberian people from their quest for freedom. No degree of intimidation, harassment and other forms of repressive tactics will stop the Liberian people from ushering in a new breed of leadership in Liberia in the year 2003.
Finally, let it be known to Mr. Taylor that he is personally responsible for the safety of Aloysius Toe, Hassan Bility and the other Liberian democratic activists now in illegal detentions. Mr. Taylor must also know that he will pay a very high price if any adverse circumstances develop as the result of the illegal detentions of Aloysius Toe, Hassan Bility the other Liberian democratic activists.