New Deal's Leader Arrested, Sisters Abducted by Police
(A Press Release from the Movement for the Defense of Human Rights)

The Perspective
Monrovia, Liberia

March 27, 2002

Monrovia, Wednesday 27 March 2002: The Movement for the Defence of Human Rights MODHAR has strongly condemned the arrest and subsequent detention (without explanation or charge) of the Acting National Chairman, Mr. Nigba Wiaplah of a proposed opposition political party, the New DEAL Movement. In the same light, MODHAR strongly condemns and categorically denounces the abduction of Helena Williams and Ramesa Williams, sisters to Mr. Wiaplah by the Liberian police, a day before Mr. Wiaplah was arrested. All of these acts by the Liberia National Police are arbitrary, intimidating, molesting and clearly crush underfoot the basic freedoms of these peace-loving Liberians.

MODHAR says it can not understand why state security would arrest Mr. Wiaplah two days after his proposed political party published its membership list and he freely expressed his opinion on burning national issues, a legal requirement for the registration of political parties. MODHAR says it is hard to believe that the government of Liberia would choose to suppress peaceful and law abiding citizens who have denounced war and embarked upon the constitutional means of attaining state power.

MODHAR warns that this latest action of intolerance by government could create a perfect pretext for others to abandon the constitutional means and revert to illegal political adventurism. MODHAR further avers that the government by this arrest and detention of peaceful constitutional advocates is directly telling the LURD rebels that the government will not tolerate peaceful and constitutional contest for power. In other words the government is directly encouraging LURD to wage war since there is no other means of political change.

MODHAR says such intimidation of peaceful political parties leaders is one reason why exiled leaders have refused to return.

MODHAR is therefore calling on the Liberian government to unconditionally release Mr. Wiaplah and his family, hoping that this is not a case of another “mistaken identity” as the police claimed in the recent illegal detention of the JPC director.

In a related development, MODHAR says it categorically rejects and classifies as uncivilized the display of arrogance and issuance of threats by police Deputy Chief of Intelligence, Dolo Mark against local and international journalists as well as human activists who had gone to observe the case involving Mr. Wiaplah.

Signed: J. Aloysius Toe
Movement For The Defence Of Human Rights
152 Carey Street, Monrovia, Liberia
Tel: 231-227-334/Mobile: 06515158

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