ULAA Decries the Violation of Fundemental Human Rights in Liberia: Calls for Independent Investigation

(Press Release)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

October 31, 2002

The Security, police, military and para-military forces of the Government of Liberia continue to constantly and flagrantly violate the human rights and civil liberties of Liberians. Since the ascendancy of the Charles Taylor to the presidency of Liberia in July 1997, the people of Liberia have been subjected to the denial of basic freedoms: these include the freedom of association, assembly, movement, thought and conscience, expressions, speech, press, and the right to due process of law as guarantee by the Liberian Constitution. Hundreds of ordinary citizens, student leaders, media personnel, democracy and human rights advocates, political opposition figures have and continue to face the torrent of physical intimidation, harassment, politically motivated disappearances, torture, and extra-judicial killings, as reported by credible national sources and the international community. A vicious cycle of violence and the culture of lawlessness have taken hold of our national patrimony, which proclaims itself the "Land of Liberty".

ULAA unequivocally urges President Charles Taylor to urgently create the conditions for genuine peace and security, national reconciliation and unification, good governance, and the rule of law as required by the Liberian constitution. ULAA further recognizes that the pathway to curbing the deteriorating state of national affairs is for the Liberian people to take a series of appropriate non-violent actions under the constitution towards:

A. Bringing pressure to bear on the Liberian Government and the Liberian United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), to cease hostilities and negotiate a political settlement.

B. Strengthening the weak legislature dominated by Taylor loyalist

C. Reining in the imperial powers of the Taylor presidency

D. Making accountable the corrupt and inept judiciary stacked with Taylor cronies

Meanwhile, ULAA calls for the immediate investigation of all rights violations since the inception of the Taylor Government, including the recent beaten to death of a security personnel, allegedly on the orders of Taylor’s son Chucky Taylor, the commander of the notorious Anti-Terrorist Unit- ATU. Only an independent panel of national and international human rights experts and criminal investigators can reveal the facts and truths behind this callous disregard for human life and dignity. Similarly, the Liberian Government is obligated to release a detailed report of its own investigation and legal actions taken or to be taken against perpetrators of crime against Liberians from July 1997 to the present. ULAA neither supports the war being waged by LURD or any group, nor the mass violence perpetrated by the Liberian Government to stop such war(s). Any war or mass violence by those in power or seeking power in Liberia perpetuates the wanton abuse of fundamental rights, undermines constitutional democracy, inhibits peace and stability, stifles reconciliation and unification, and curtails recovery and social development in our homeland. ULAA shall remain steadfast in its struggle for a democratic and developed Liberia.

Issued by the Authority of the National Administration of ULAA

Signed: Sam Mohammed Kromah

National President
Union Of Liberian Associations In The Americas, Ulaa
1363 Progress Way, P.O. Box 15, Sykesville, Maryland 21784

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