‘It’s Time to Address the Culture of Impunity’

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Mr. Knight wants former combatants accused of crimes against humanity being given their days in court.

United Methodist Human Rights Monitor

Jefferson Knight, executive director of the United Methodist Human Rights Monitor, said his institution remains supportive of the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia, “because it is time to address the culture of impunity in the country.”

Knight said if Liberia as a nation must move forward in sustaining peace and stability, it is about time that the government begins to address the issue of impunity which, for far too long, has exempted people accused of crimes, especially heinous crimes, from being punished or free from the injurious consequences of their individual or collective actions against fellow human beings.

He spoke to the Daily Observer recently at the end of a two-day workshop organized by the Faith and Justice Network-Liberia. The workshop was held in Monrovia under the auspices of the Faith and Justice Network of the Mano River basin.

Mr. Knight told participants that if the culture of impunity is not addressed by the current administration, the country may likely slide into “another dark day.”

He said that the country cannot have a lot of people, who committed heinous crimes and also violated International humanitarian laws but don’t have a single word of repentance to ask for forgiveness from the Liberian people.

Knight added that as long as some of those suspected of committing rights violation during the country’s civil crisis continue to be in the corridors of power, the issue of impunity will not be of major concern to them. As such, it is incumbent upon civil society organizations (CSOs), and other stakeholders to keep putting the government’s feet to the fire, in order to establish an economic and war crimes court.

He said that the best way to move forward as a people and nation is to have the alleged economic and war criminals prosecuted, which would serve as deterrent for those who might think it is all over.

“The establishment of an economic and a war crimes court should now be a major priority for this current government,” Knight said.

He also frowned on those “war criminals”  for their actions against unarmed civilians during the civil crisis.

“Those family members are still grieving because those who committed these crimes against them are seen moving around with impunity,” something which, he said, is unacceptable in the society.

As one of the facilitators of the training, Mr. Knight recommended that the training be taken to churches, to intensify their effort in monitoring the justice system and human rights issue in the country.

The events brought together human rights monitors from other institutions, including those from the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Mr Knight, I’m sorry to say you are nothing but a numbskull. Which builder is there who have not yet laid a foundation but wants to start building a house. Up to this very moment, your country’s economy depends on aids from western powers who ride you like a horse and you want to talk about the establishment of war crimes court. Who will establish and operate it for you. You don’t possess the mental faculty to run a war crimes court. You constantly play into the narrative of western politician whose goal is to keep you distracted from the real issues affecting your nation and people. This way when you are down and out, they can come in under the pretext of administering aid to rob you of your resources and yes, monitor you too. When they sensed anything that looks like progress, they immediately abort it.

    Think about it, when the western powers were laying the foundation of their nations, they had you as slaves doing the free labor for them. And there was none of these distractions that we have today – UN, World Bank, IMF , feminist movement and all the rest of their agents. They had complete peace of mind to carry out their work. Don’t you understand this, now it’s time for you to start laying the foundation of your nations, why are you constantly buying into every nonsense they tell you. Unless of course, they never really let you go. Your repatriation to Liberia was just another effort to colonize that region for America because you had nothing but their philosophy in your head on to this day. Which is why our every move is engineered by them. What an ingenious move on the part of our slave masters.

    All of the proponents of the establishment of war crimes court are motivated by their western partners – UN and America. Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t know that America and their UN are responsible for the war crimes against humanity in Liberia then you really need to sit down and keep quiet. Yes, liberians were used on the frontline to carry out the crimes and I make no excuse for anyone who will allow a foreign power to pump you into destroying your own nation and people. They have to face the music for their actions. But make no mistake about it, the real criminals and instigators are the ones you think are your friends – the UN and America. You can bring war crimes charges against the brothers at home, they deserve it. But don’t you sit there taking advice from the UN and America who are even more guilty than the ones we wish to prosecute.

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