Human rights lawyer Tiawan Saye Gongloe said reports of constant rights abuses and violations carried out by people, including those serving in the law enforcement agencies, should not be tolerated in whatever way.
Cllr. Gongloe made the comment recently when he served as keynote speaker on the occasion that marked the 30th anniversary of Africa Human Rights Day. The ceremony was organized by the Independent National Human Rights Commission (INHRC) in partnership with other stakeholders under the theme, “Women’s Rights, A Collective Responsibility.”
“The ill-treatments reportedly received by Anna Tue, Beatrice Koon and Maronlyn Chea, all adult women from Mbutu, a town in Sinoe County, at the hands of some officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) are complete human rights violations. For that, I am calling on President
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to do much more due diligence to the case by making the accused face uncompromised justice,” Cllr. Gongloe declared.
The three ladies in their 40s reported that LNP from the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), not only disrobed them but allegedly threw the ladies into a vehicle after reportedly whipping them. It was reported that the officers also took the ladies to the police headquarters in Greenville.
“Police (ERU) were beating my son and when I got on the scene to inquire why they were beating him, I was molested by the police and taken to jail where I spent four days,” Anna Tue recalled.
She said a police woman denied her getting out of her cell to eat the food family members brought to her while in detention.
As for Beatrice Koon, she was reportedly jailed for one year at the Greenville Central Prison without due process.
She said her presence at the celebrations of the Africa Human Rights Day in Monrovia was one major achievement in her life.
The INHRC awarded US$500 each to the ladies and inducted them into the ‘Hall of Family’ for their distinct roles in fighting for women’s rights and justice.
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world as a day to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation on December 10, 1948. It is also called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The day is normally marked by high-level political conferences, meetings, cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues.
Member states of the African Union (AU), then Organization of African Unity (OAU), convened a meeting in the Libyan City of Benghazi in April 1989, and adopted a resolution that set aside the Africa Human Rights Day.
Since then, Cllr. Gongloe said, millions of people, mostly of African descent, continue to suffer injustices in the hands of the minority who either hold on to the wealth of the continent or are in the law enforcement agencies of governments.
He added: “The essence of the gathering at Benghazi was to afford Africans the opportunity to evaluate their human rights records, known to be bad all over the world, and enhance the possible means to allow human dignity to be the hallmark of sustaining a peaceful continent.’’
Global Witness, meanwhile, recently captured in its report that Golden Veroleum (GVL), a palm oil Concession Company operating in the South-East of Liberia, has negatively affected the livelihoods of over 41,000 people, a number of which women and children are said to be bearing the greatest effects of the circumstances. But the company rejected the report.