In the wake of information concerning the alleged arrest of Henry Costa in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the All Liberian Party (ALP) on Wednesday, January 15, issued a statement calling on the Government of Sierra Leone to respect and honor its obligation under international laws and protocols that guarantee the safety and security of Mr. Costa.
The ALP, in its statement, said that Costa was “running for his life” as the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) was after him for an investigation into laissez-passer saga that in some instances posed threat to his life.
“We are calling on the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone to honor its obligations under international Laws and Protocols that guarantee the safety and security of Mr. Henry P. Costa, who is fleeing for his life and safety,” said ALP.
The party then disclosed that it has monitored the social media and come across posts by some members of the hierarchy in the Liberian government that “Henry Costa will soon die,” a threat that the ALP claims the government has not attempted to take any action against.
“Since the issuance of this threat, coupled with the intrusion of former notorious generals of the Liberian civil war among peaceful protesters on January 6, 2020, the Government of Liberia has taken no action to ensure the safety of Mr. Henry P. Costa, Chairman of the Council Of Patriots (COP).”
The ALP further recalled that the Independent National Human Rights Commission of Liberia, in its official report concerning the January 6, 2020 peaceful assembly, cited the unusual and frightening presence of former rebel generals among protesters, without efforts by the Liberia National Police to restrain and restrict their movement.
“These actions of the Liberian Government and its State Security forces are sufficient reasons for concern of the life and safety of talk show host Henry Costa whose Council of Patriots (COP) staged the peaceful demonstration of January 6, 2020,” the party said.
ALP continued that while the investigation into his laissez-passer is ongoing, the Liberian Government declared Henry Costa as a wanted man if he failed to turn up for an investigation by 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
“As far as we are concerned, and we wish to inform and remind Authorities of the Republic of Sierra Leone, that Mr. Costa has so far not been charged for any crime(s) under Liberian Law. Declaring Mr. Henry P. Costa as ‘a wanted man’ has also posed fear and danger to his life and safety,” ALP noted.
The ALP also reiterated that the Liberian Government is under obligation to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, which guarantees basic fundamental and inalienable rights (such as the right to life, right to freedom of movement and speech, amongst others) of citizens of the Republic of Liberia.
The ALP in its statement expressed the belief that Mr. Henry Costa is being targeted wrongly for his critical voice against the Government on account of its unconventional handling and management of the Country. This is the beginning of a clampdown on the opposition by President Weah and his government. It also begins a return to the dark days of our country when government sought to crack down in various forms against individuals and institutions perceived to be “enemies of the State” as ascribed to the opposition by the George Weah Administration.
“We urge the Sierra Leonean Government to take the most appropriate actions within the context of international humanitarian and human rights laws by allowing Mr. Costa to return to the United States of America where he is currently residing and pursuing his college studies,” the statement concludes.