‘Culture of Impunity Threat To Peace’ – Tiawan Gongloe
Monrovia – The President of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) Tiawan Gongloe has called on state prosecutors to ensure that perpetrators of crimes are prosecuted, warning that the culture of impunity is a threat to peace.
Cllr. Gongloe was speaking at the weekend while serving as keynote speaker of the 2019 Annual Conference of the National Association of Prosecutors of Liberia held in the Temple of Justice.
He was speaking under the theme “Curbing the Culture of Impunity Necessary Condition for a Peaceful Society”.
The LNBA President indicated that a society that promotes a culture of impunity is a breeding ground for conflict which sometimes ends up in creating a cycle of violence because victims of impunity most often look for future opportunity to revenge.
“The only way to have sustainable peace in any country is not to entertain impunity in any manner, shape or form but to hold every one accountable for their criminal conducts on an equal basis, irrespective of their sex, religion, tribe, county region, social status, political position or connection,” said Gongloe.
Gongloe continued that the law must be applied to everyone equally and should not be rigidly applied against one citizen or group of citizens and weakly applied against another citizen or group of citizens and in some cases not applied at all.
He said there should be no excuses for violators of the law, warning that if selective justice is promoted it would encourage impunity.
According to Gongloe, a good citizen must never condone or conceal the commission of a crime by another citizen and that advocates for the good of society should fearlessly expose crimes irrespective of who they may find committing crimes.
He added that journalists, commentators and radio talk show hosts should fearlessly expose crimes especially those committed by public officials.
Meanwhile, Gongloe has stressed that prosecutors have a “serious role to play in curbing corruption”.
He said a corrupt prosecutor is not respected by perpetrators of crimes against the people because of their belief that he has a price which they are able to pay.
“No amount of pressure from the President of Liberia, Minister of Justice or any other official of government and no amount of public sentiment including street protest should form the basis of making a decision to prosecute anyone accused of a crime without being in possession of admissible evidence,” the human right lawyer indicated.