Human Rights Defenders Declare A Week Of Solidarity for Hassan Bility
October 22, 2002
18 October 2002
Dear Hon. Johnson:
The Liberia Coalition of Human Rights Defenders has resolved to declare a WEEK OF SOLIDARITY for fellow defenders Hassan Bility of the Analyst Newspaper, Sheikh K. M. Sackor of the Humanist Watch Liberia and others who are detained along with them since the 24th of June 2002. The solidarity week commences on Friday, October 25, 2002 and ends on November 1, 2002.
As you are well aware, Hassan Bility, Sheikh Sackor and others have been under state detention for the past four months without charge or trial. . Several writs of Habeas Corpus filed on their behalf failed to secure their appearance in court for trial or to have them released from further detention. Since their detention, no relatives, friends, legal counsel nor other professional groups like the Press Union, human rights community, Bar Association and even international groups have been allowed access to them. The Government of Liberia has announced the setting up of a Military Tribunal and even promised that the detainees would be tried. Four months after said announcement and one and a half months after the promise, the Coalition is not convinced of any demonstrated commitment by the government to have the detainees appear in court for trial. This unexplained delay, in our opinion, constitutes reasonable and logical grounds for the detainees to be released from further detention without conditions. THIS IS OUR HUMBLE CALL, SIR; AND THIS, THE NATION CAN NOT AFFORD TO IGNORE!
Please be informed that we have already communicated our intentions to the President of Liberia, the Minister of Justice, The Speaker of the House of Representatives, The President Pro Tempore, The Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Minister of Defense, the Director of Police, diplomatic mission near Monrovia, local churches, civil society organizations, pressure groups, etc. In our communication, we have requested their participation in the activities of the solidarity week.
May we request, also, that all Liberians and friends of Liberia abroad join us in this worthy undertaking. Please organize appropriate activities wherever you might find yourself and notify us of your activity.Observe a moment of silence. Pray together for respect for the rule of law and freedom!
By this letter, friends, the Coalition wishes to inform you about its decision to stage a peaceful solidarity march from Central Monrovia to the Executive Mansion, at which time petitions will be delivered to the President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr. Charles G. Taylor. In furtherance of your democratic and human rights resolve, the Coalition wishes, therefore, to officially request the honor of your solidarity for the activities including the peaceful march and prayer service on 29 & 28 October 2002 at the APC St. Theresa Convent Campus on Randall Street. As a matter of general appeal, the Coalition would appreciate whatever little donation, in cash or kind, you would like to offer for the holding of the solidarity week.
By these activities, Sir, we intend to re-iterate our persistent call for the respect of the RULE OF LAW in Liberia and at the same time invoke the attention of the nation and appeal to the conscience of our leaders to cast their eyes across to the detention centers and see the sufferings of those in detention without charge and trial. At the same time, we wish to draw the attention of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights which is currently convening (October 17 - 28, 2002) in Banjul, the Gambia to pass on cases including the Hassan Bility et al case in Liberia. Call the local and international media to say something about human rights and rule of law in Liberia.
By these activities, friends, we intend to re-iterate our persistent call for the respect of the RULE OF LAW in Liberia and at the same time invoke the attention of the nation and appeal to the conscience of our leaders to cast their eyes across to the detention centers and see the sufferings of those in detention without charge and trial.
In closing, may we request that you use any appropriate diplomatic and political means to ensure that the government of Liberia demonstrate her expressed commitment to human rights and civil liberties by granting the peaceful solidarity march.
Thanking you ever so much, we remain,
IN THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY
J. Aloysius Toe
Liberia Coalition of Human Rights Defenders
If You Are Out Of Liberia, Make Your Contribution Via Western Union And Notifiy Us Through Email. Contact Persons: J. Aloysius Toe Or Atty. T. Dempster Brown Of The National Human Rights Center Of Liberia.
Attachments: Solidarity Week Program of Activities.
SOLIDARY WEEK ACTIVITY PROGRAM
Friday, October 25, 2002 Statement of Declaration
Sunday, October 27, 2002 Local Churches to Observe Solidarity
Monday, October 28, 2002 National Prayers Service (Four speakers & and an hour of prayers) beginning 12noon
Tuesday, October 29, 2002 Peaceful Solidarity March
Presentation of Petition to President Charles G.Taylor
Wednesday, October 30, 2002 Observe Day of Silence
Thursday, October 31, 2002 Press Conference
Friday, November 1, 2002 End of Week
LIBERIA COALITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
MILTON & RICHARD BUILDING TEL:
152 CAREY STREET, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MONROVIA, LIBERIA email@example.com