Human Rights Defender Decries Prison Conditions
April 3, 2002
Wednesday, April 03, 2002: The National Human Rights Center of Liberia has expressed shock and dismay over the de-humanizing and deplorable conditions being experienced by inmates at the Liberia National Police Central station. A center press release quoting recently detained colleagues of the Center at the police station says, the treatment and conditions at the holding cell are a “ tragic expression of man’s inhumanity to man”.
The Center says it hard to believe that some 24 detainees have been languishing in police cells for periods ranging from two months to four years without charge or explanation, while at the same time undergoing the worst form of inhumane treatment. The Center contends that it has credible reports that detainees are given a table spoon full of rice per day and are made to sleep on bare floor without shirts.
The Center further says there is evidence to show that detainees are tortured, humiliated and flogged while hung upside down by other inmates all to the acquiescence of the police. Poor sanitary conditions coupled with the fact that most of the inmates have
not taken bath since their incarceration and compounded by the over-crowdedness of the cells are reasons that should claim the attention of the country and world-at large.
Some of those currently detained in police cell include: Kaifa M. Sesay, Arma Kamara, Oldman Flomo, Anthony Lombel, Varney Kanneh, Saturday Dargbeh, Musa Sao, Musa Keteh, Victor Suleh, Abraham Sherriff, Salomon Konneh, Vaguma sherriff, Musa Barrie, James Muluba, Karmo Boakai, John Koi, James Philips, Lawais David, Henry Varmo, Kuyah Bedel, Lita Bill, Solomon Harrie, Big Boy Muluba and Summonville Saywah.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Center of Liberia has, on behalf of the detainees, petitioned the Criminal Court C for a writ of Habeas Corpus for the release of the 24 detained persons.
Consequently, the Criminal Court C has ordered the authorities of the Ministry of Justice, the authorities of the Liberian National Police, the authorities of the National Security Agency to produce the living bodies of the 24 persons in open court together with the cause of such detention at the Circuit Court House on the 4th day of April A.D. 2002 at the hour of 3:00 p.m.
In a related development, the National Human Rights Center of Liberia is calling for investigation into reports of mal-treatment in police cells.
A. Blamo Sieh
Acting National Coordinator/NHRCL
National Human Rights Centre Of Liberia
Milton & Richards Building
Carey Street, P.O. Box 3822
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