‘Liberia Has Poor Human Rights Record’

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    A US State Department Human Rights report about Liberia points to numerous human rights abuses in the country.

    Lack of justice, corruption, lengthy pretrial detentions, denial of due process, and harsh prison conditions are some human rights abuses recorded about Liberia.

    Furthermore, the report shows that violence against women and children, including rape and domestic violence, and child labor were also serious problems.

    Also recorded in the report about Liberia are police abuse, harassment, and intimidation of detainees; arbitrary arrest and detention; official corruption; human trafficking; racial and ethnic discrimination; discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons; unlawful deprivation of life under customary law; mob killings; and ritualistic killings.

    The report also notes that impunity remains a serious problem despite intermittent government attempts to prosecute and punish officials.

    The report further acknowledges that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, having won the 2011 election, which the international community described as “free and fair,” controls state security forces and resources, but that said security forces are also involved in committing human right abuses.

    “Liberia is a constitutional republic with a bicameral National Assembly. In November 2011 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Unity Party won a second term in multi-party presidential elections, which domestic and international observers considered generally free and fair. Authorities generally maintained effective control over the security forces. Security forces, however, committed human rights abuses.”

    The report signed by US Secretary of State John Kerry also accused Nigeria and Uganda of discrimination against Lesbians and Gays; something it says those two countries have made discriminatory laws to deter.

    The Government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has emphasized that it will preserve human right without favor or discrimination.

    Besides the recent report published by the US State Department, the Liberian government has itself acknowledged the challenges of corruption and access to justice amongst other key issues it is striving to address.

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