The newly formed Independent Human rights Investigators (IHRI) was officially launched over the weekend in Monrovia.
The IHRI is launched with the aim to bring human rights offenders to justice; to hold abusers accountable with the right action; and to expose human rights records, which is key to attaining lasting peace.
ActionAid-Liberia Country Director, Korto Williams, who performed the launch, called on members of the IHRI to remain focused to work in line with their mandates.
She recorded, among other things, how during the past, state powers were abused through various means because the voices of Liberians suffered from repressive regimes that were defiant and perpetrators of heinous crimes.
IHRI Founding National Director, Adama Kiatamba Dempster, said the launch will set the path in order to break the long silence of the unspoken truth, the culture of impunity, the promotion of human wrongs rather than the promotion of human rights. Mr. Dempster is also a lead investigator.
He believes that for too long, the human rights community has gone into silence, thereby leaving the plight of the Liberian people unchecked and unprotected.
He said the human rights community has remained cold lipped and silent, which has created a platform for the lives of Liberians to remain as ‘any other business’ (AOB).
“The act of remaining cold lipped and silent has led past atrocities-abuses and violations of human rights to go unpunished and unaddressed,” Mr. Dempster argued.
The IHRI is founded by Liberians, some of them university graduates, others from United Nations and internationally trained in basic human rights standards, transitional justice, legal service, security insights, research work, analyzing conflict situations, advocacy, campaigners for the rule of law and justice promotion and the common man.
The institution, Mr. Dempster said, has its strength in investigations, monitoring, legal service, security insight, training, advocacy, campaign and reporting. It was founded with the mandates to advance the protection and promotion of human rights for all; to conduct inquiries or investigate past and on-ongoing human rights abuses and or violations among other basic rights-related issues.
The launching ceremony brought together representatives of civil society actors as well as others from the Human Right Department of the Ministry of Justice, led by Kutaka D. Togba, Acting Coordinator.