Former First Lady Decries UN’s Action On Her

By: Martin C. Benson

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 22, 2004

Liberia’s former first lady, Madam Jewel Howard-Taylor says the decision of the United Nations Security Council to place her name on the Travel Ban list and also have her assets frozen, is a travesty of justice and denial of her right as a person.

Appearing on the talk show, “Agenda” on Power FM radio, Mrs. Taylor said as a citizen of this nation, her rights have been trampled upon by her denial to travel out especially so, when she is ill. Describing such as a travesty of justice that needs to be addressed by all including Human Rights organizations in the country.

According to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1532 which approved a new list of individuals and entities subject to measures approved on June 14,2004, the former Liberian leader, Charles Taylor and his wife, sons and some senior former officials of his government as well as close associates have been banned from traveling.

However, Mrs. Taylor said over the last three months she has not been given the permission to travel out, and so would want her name removed from the asset-freeze list and the list of travel ban because the United Nations Security Council has provided no prove to the Liberian government or to the Liberian people of her involvement in any activities that contravene what they are talking about.

“I am not a criminal in this country, and I carried myself as a dignified First Lady of this nation working for the people. If somebody has claims, they should take it to court. And we should have the chance to defend ourselves and if I am guilty, some punishment can be meted out”, Mrs. Taylor argued.

“But it seems that we have already been charged and we have already been pronounced guilty. The fact that these charges are punitive action, means that somebody is guilty and am now being punished, which is a violation of my right”, Mrs Taylor reiterated.

Mrs. Taylor argued further saying, “even with Nazi criminals that perpetrated genocide against the Jewish people and millions were killed as I read in history, I never heard of a wife or child of a Nazi general sentenced because of the action of the human or father. I have never heard of a story where assets of any president were frozen, and his wife and children become part of the story.”

She said everybody is protected under the same law whether national laws or the laws of the United Nations that guarantee the rights of citizens of member states, while the constitution of Liberia also guarantees the protection of citizen’s rights but what is happening is a complete violation of her right to be put on a travel ban and assets are frozen and property confiscated.

Mrs. Taylor questioned the neutrality of human rights institutions especially at the time when everybody is preaching for peace, reconciliation and stability, and wondered why none of them has commented. Adding, “maybe, some of them will say we were not aware so I am giving them the information, so let them get involved now. “I am not being emotional about the issue,” she noted.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.