New Deal Calls for the Unconditional Release of its Chairman and Rights Defenders
April 1, 2002
Statement Of The USA Chapter Of The New Democratic Atlernative For Liberia Movement (The New Deal Movement-USA) On The Arrest And Subsquent Detention Of Mr. Nigba Wiaplah, Acting National Chairman)
The USA Chapter of the New Democratic Alternative for Liberia Movement (The New DEAL Movement) has learned with utmost dismay the arrest and subsequent detention of Mr. Nigba Wiaplah, Vice Chairman for National Affairs and Acting National Chairman of the Movement
The Movement views this arrest not only as illegal, but also as an abrogation of the constitutional right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Liberian Constitution. It is therefore the conviction of the USA Chapter that Chairman Nigba Wiaplah was acting within the realm of his constitutional rights as national leader of a political movement when he expressed critical opinions about political developments in Liberia.
The Branch constituencies of the USA Chapter of the New DEAL Movement note the negative impact of the political repression that is taking place on Liberians both at home and abroad. The overwhelming concern is for the Government of Liberia to create a conducive atmosphere, so that Liberians who want to return home can do so without fear of intimidation or harassment.
Appalled by the total disregard for rule of law by the Liberian government, The USA Chapter is proceeding to persuade the United Nations to stiffen the sanctions already in place against the Liberian Government. The Chapter will also bring pressure to bear on the Government of the United States of America, All Democratic Institutions in the USA, Peace Building Agencies, Human Rights Organizations, The Religious Community, and The United Nations agencies that are operational in Liberia to further isolate and compel the Liberian Government to democratize. The USA Chapter is determined to pursue this path until it becomes abundantly clear that the Liberian Government is ready to serve the interest of the mass majority of our people by meeting their expectations.
In addition, the USA Chapter is moving to ensure that the ECOWAS Authority, African Governments, the European Union and all Multinational Co-operations be discouraged from engaging in any serious business with the Liberian Government until the political atmosphere and security situation are improved to the satisfaction of the Liberian people. As a matter of fact, the above approach has been deemed necessary because the present repressive actions of the government of Liberia create the impression that the NPP led government of Charles Taylor is a party to the war on the country and its people.
The USA Chapter of the New DEAL Movement is also following with keen interest the arrest and detention of the Human Rights Activist, Mr. Aloysious Toe and other members of the staff of the Movement For the Defense of Human Rights (MOHDAR) and the Center for Human Rights in Liberia. The Chapter sees absolutely no reason why Aloysius Toe and other human rights activists in Liberia should be detained for condemning the illegal arrest and detention of Mr. Nigba Wiaplah. We view this action on the part of the Liberian Government, not only as a clampdown on the Human Rights Community, but also as an attempt to derail the democratization process of our common patrimony.
Finally, the USA Chapter of the New DEAL calls on the Government of Mr. Charles Taylor to unconditionally, unequivocally and without any further delay release Mr. Nigba Wiaplah, the Vice Chairman for National Affairs and Acting National Chairman of the New DEAL Movement, Mr. Aloysius Toe, the Executive Director of MODHAR and Project Officer for Amnesty International, and all other human rights activists being detained by the Government.
ISSUED BY THE USA CHAPTER OF THE NEW DEAL MOVEMNET ON SUNDAY MARCH 31,2002.
Anthony S. Massaquoi
Chapter DEAL USA
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