SHIFSD Condemns the Unlawful Arrest and Detention of Human Rights Activists in Liberia
A Press Statement Issued by the Human Rights Unit of The Self Help Initiative for Sustainable Development(SHIFSD) As Regards The Current Wave of Arrest And Detention of Human Rights Activists In Monrovia
November 7, 2002
Dismayed by the upsurge of despotism, and the flagrant lack of respect for the civil liberties of individual citizens and other residents-- a mastermind and calculated orchestration of the Taylor-government, SHIFSD, through its Human Rights Unit, condemns in no uncertain terms the unlawful arrest and detention of Human Rights Activists Dempster Browne, Aloysius Toe and others.
SHIFSD strongly detests the arrest and subsequent detention of the Chairman of the Coalition of Human Rights Organizations, Lawyer D. Browne, and the Executive Director of the Movement for the Defense of Human Rights in Liberia, Mr. Aloysius Toe, in violation of their constitutional and inalienable rights as citizens of Liberia.
Regrettably, the choice of tyranny by the Taylor-regime as opposed to the tenets of participatory democracy under a so-called constitutional rule is tantamount to a mockery of democratic values.
Arguably, the availability of cogent democratic structures given the likes of credible Human Rights and other Pressure Groups, indeed constitutes the fringes of a responsible democratic culture.
Sadden enough, the baseless arrest and detention of peaceful citizens, particularly Chairman Browne and Director Toe along with their family members, establishes the basis of political bankruptcy, the low ebb of constitutional acumen and a bastardized affront to decency, civility and internationally accepted norms.
SHIFSD, henceforth, unreservedly terms as cowardly this grotesquely heinous element of state-sponsored banditry barely few hours after the Pro-Bility mass-organized Human Rights Demonstration was called off.
We call on the Taylor government and its agents of coercion to begin to reason commonsensically and immediately desist from the unscrupulous tactics of peddling falsehood to incriminate perceived enemies-- to the effect of a state-manufactured claim that a "LURD REBEL E-mail" was found among Mr. Toe's personal effects. We categorically condemn this diabolical conspiratory act of thuggery being perpetrated by the Taylor's forces of sadism.
Imperatively, we call on the Taylor-regime to pursue every constitutional validity if there is credible evidence of a bridge of the law in order to ensure that the unfettered judiciary becomes the final arbitrator in dispensing justice. It is crystal clear that in the midst of injustice, despotism, and the flagrant lack of respect for human and peoples' rights, democracy and development can never blossom.
Finally, we therefore call on all lovers of social justice, peace, democracy, and development to condemn in the strongest possible terms this uncivilised act of the Taylor Government and demand a speedy, free, and fair trial of the detained human rights activists including all other unlawful detainees.
Jeremiah T. Burgess
Acting Executive Director
Box CT 1068, Cantonments, Accra, Ghana
Tel: 233-24-739742 or 233-24-691932