GOL Denies ‘Lack of Political Will’ to Address Human Rights Violations

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that her administration does not lack the political will to address shortcomings enumerated in the 2014 Human Rights Report on Liberia released by the US State Department Bureau of Democracy and Human Rights.

Speaking at the United States’ 239th Independence Anniversary at the Executive Pavilion in Monrovia yesterday, President Sirleaf requested the US Government for continual partnership and support to address those shortcomings.

“I only wish, given the likelihood of the report that most of the comments in the report are based on local media reports, and taking into account comments in the report on the media, that the US will adopt a policy of reviewing and consultation before such reports are published,” President Sirleaf countered.

She told the audience of US Embassy officials, officials of the Liberian government and guests that she had read the human rights report which contained many good things as well as several shortcomings of her government.

The published reports among other things highlighted lack of political will by the Executive in handling cases of corruption, citing cases of former Commerce and Industry Minister, Miatta Beyslow and former LPRC Managing Director T. Nelson Williams, who were dismissed following allegations of corruption by the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC).

The report also noted that Justice in Liberia was based on favor and bribes, and judges were giving justice to people who have money to pay, leaving the poor without justice.

It also indicated that integrity institutions including the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) were not supported enough to be independent in their work.

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