Carter Center Raps Security Actors on FOI Law in Three Counties

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Monrovia – The Carter Center and the European Union (EU) have held an interactive forum for the adherence of the Freedom of Information Law for security personnel and citizens of Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties.

The forum which ended in the three counties at the end of the week was held with the participation of security personnel from the Liberia National Police (LNP), and the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) as well as representatives from the Ministry of Justice and the Bureau of Correction.

 Carter Center, Project Lead (PL) and head of the Access to Information Section, Thomas Doe Nah, told FrontPageAfrica Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at the end of the forum that the objective of the forum was to hold stakeholders meeting that could allow citizens to engage justice and security actors in the access to information in that sector.

“The objective of the visit was to hold stakeholders meetings that would allow citizens to engage justice and security actors and gather concerns that citizens have with accessing information in the sector” said Doe.

Doe stated that the Gbarnga meeting held at the Security and Justice Hub brought together citizens mobilized from the media, youth groups, marketing and motorcycle associations, religious leaders and network members in the county.

Also at Gbarnga’s meeting Doe added that the EU Representative Erik Kristensen who gave an overview of the project noted that all EU activities are geared toward promoting transparency and that the police and security actors would be able to do a better job if they know the concerns of the citizens, pointing out that constant dialogue with citizens will create a safer Liberia.

In Ganta, Nimba County, Doe stated that the second meeting was attended by the commanders of the police detachment, Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) Magistrate and Public Defenders and used the same framework as the Gbarnga meeting. This framework was also employed in Lofa.

 “The Lofa meeting was quiet informative as key agencies such as the DEA,LNP, Bureau Of Correction, Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) were all represented by their respective commanders” said Doe.

The Carter Center Project Lead indicated that at the end of the meeting which was marked with questions and answers in the three counties one of the main suggestions from the meeting was that the Bureau of Corrections and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) be included in the FOI interactive forum because a lot of citizens expressed concerns regarding the work of those two agencies.

According to Doe, the European Union (EU) Representative Erik Kristensen who was part of the meeting from start to end in the three counties appreciated interacting with the citizens and with the security, and indicated that understanding the work of the Gbarnga Prison was significant for the people of Bong County. 

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