INCHR Urges Gov’t to Rescue Liberians Trapped in Libya

Bartholomew B. Colley.

– Comments on expected Supreme Court Ruling on elections, Siah Tamba murder case

The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) has expressed shock and dismay over the revelations of human trafficking coming from Northern Africa and calls on the Government of Liberia to rescue Liberians trapped in Libya.

Atty. Bartholomew B. Colley, Acting Chairperson of the commission, told reporters yesterday in Monrovia that it is unbelievable to note that in the 21st century, slavery is being practiced in North Africa.

“This has sent shock waves through the entire world. The Commission sees this as utterly disgusting and shameful for Africans, especially Libyans. It is mind boggling to note that we as Africans will revert to a practice that we were once subjected to,” Atty. Colley said.

He condemned the situation, describing it as a disgraceful act and called on the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights to conduct an immediate investigation and take appropriate action.

Atty. Colley also called on the Government of Liberia to immediately conduct an investigation to find out the number of Liberians involved and their health conditions, adding “Following the results from the investigation, an immediate repatriation should be sought.”

Meanwhile, the commission said it is pleased that the judicial process surrounding the electoral dispute has been followed meticulously without interference.

Atty. Colley added “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will do due diligence to the matter before it, taking the interest of the country and citizens into consideration in applying the law. All Liberians are encouraged to be law abiding and respecting the rights of everyone.”

As for the verdict from the Siah Tamba murder case, the Commission commended the process for serving justice.

This verdict serves as a deterrent for would-be abusers and violators of a person’s right to life. Nevertheless, the justice system needs to move beyond this case and ensure that the alleged perpetrators of ritualistic killings and other human rights abuses are prosecuted, Atty. Colley said.

“The commission is concerned on the issue of appointed officials allegedly assuming office without confirmation by the Liberian Senate; we applaud the position taken by that body to investigate the matter,” he said, though it has been more than three weeks since the commission raised the concern; and therefore urged them to intervene.

“It is our hope that they will patriotically and diligently seek the facts surrounding this matter and take appropriate measures as our constitution should be respected. The doctrine of coordination and cooperation among the branches of government must be upheld for the growth and protection of our democracy,” he said.

In other development, the commission lauded Liberians for joining the world to celebrate World AIDS Day on December 1 and International Day of Persons with Disabilities Day on December 3.

“We as Liberians have a duty and responsibility to help make this world a friendly place to all humans despite their orientation, creed, condition or status. We are encouraging all of us to always reach out and help the needy and make someone understand that they too have rights because they are human,” Atty. Colley said.

Alvin Worzi is a Liberian journalist with over seven years of professional experience. For the past few years, he has been engaged in covering land issues, security, education, gender related issues, politics, and agriculture. Mr. Worzi is currently the Assistant Secretary General of the Executive Mansion Press Corps (conglomeration of reporters assigned at the Executive Mansion). Mr. Worzi is a member of the Press Union of Liberia.


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