New Deal Condemns Police Harassment and Intimidation
March 30, 2002
Police brutality has intensified in Liberia since the imposition of the state of emergency in that West African country by Charles Taylor. Recent casualties include Frances Johnson Morris - former Chief Justice of Liberia and Director of JPC (stripped naked and thrown in jail by police director Paul Mulbah), several journalists and leader of an opposition party, New Deal Movement. Representatives of the New Deal Movement residing in Ghana have issued a statement in which they condemn the prevailing police harassment and intimidation in Liberia. In the statement issued today in Accra, Ghana, the New Deal Representatitives wrote:
The Ghana Chapter of the New Democratic Alternative for Liberia Movement, (The New DEAL Movement), in no uncertain terms, categorically deplores, decries and condemns the wanton act of political insensibility leading to the arbitrary arrest and detention of comrade Nigba Wiaplah, Acting National Chairman of the New DEAL Movement by the security forces in Liberia. Accordingly, we demand his immediately release from further detention since he was only fulfilling his constitutional prerogative in the market place of ideas.
Given the current constitutional order that seemingly obtains in Liberia, the Ghana Chapter considers it ironic though but at the same time view as parochial, uncivilized and barbaric the flagrant disregard for the civil liberties of a leader of a political party on grounds of free expression on candid opinions of the dismal state of affairs of the country - to which the Charles Taylor led government has virtually proven insensitive.
Therefore, the Ghana Chapter calls on the Government of Liberia to without delay pursue the unconditional release of the New DEAL Movement’s Acting National Chairman from detention. We strongly believe that the illegal arrest and detention of comrade Wiaplah confirms an element of “SAVIMBIZATION”, which now usurps the very constitutionality of the government of Mr. Charles Taylor.
The New DEAL Movement, as a matter of conviction, has opted for the capture of state power democratically owing to its grassroots entrenchment, capacity and sense of civility within the context of the New World order. We wish to state that the Movement will never be deterred by any attempt to muzzle cum stifle open and the frank exchange of ideas by the Government of President Charles Taylor amidst the current politically crucial stage of the New DEAL Movement’s finalization process- to evolve the Movement as a full fledged political party in Liberia. We shall pursue whatever means constitutionally applicable to ensure our democratic participation in the pending general and presidential elections in Liberia.
We, in the Movement, fervently subscribe to the rule of law within the framework of the Organic Law of the land and therefore vehemently refute every machination being employed with the unlawful use of state security apparatus to rain fear, terror, intimidation and flagrantly condoning lawless in the name of perceived threat to national security. We challenge the government to prove in a court of competent jurisdiction an element of a bridge of the law of Liberia. Let it clearly be known that democracy works within the spirit of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
In the purview of the Ghana Chapter, there are more pressing and fundamental issues of national concerns to be addressed at such. It is only prudently imperative that the government redirects its energies and resources with a sense of wisdom in addressing those real issues that confront our people other than engaging in trivial matters.
Finally, we wish to reaffirm the position of the National Leadership in entreating our numerous supporters and friends of Liberia both at home and abroad to remain calm and vigilant during this critical period of our party’s history.
Respectively submitted by:
Cde. Ekena Wesley
Cde. Jeremiah T. Burgess
Chairman (Ghana chapter)
The Ghana Chapter - New Deal Movement
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