Liberia: FOHRD Releases National Human Rights Situation Report

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Monrovia — The Foundation for Human Rights Defense International (FOHRD) on June 2, 2021, launched its first National Human Rights Report. According to FOHRD, that was the beginning of a journey intended for the advancement of Liberia’s democracy in the protection of the human rights of everyone found within the borders of the country.

In the rights group’s first report, key thematic areas that were highlighted included “Freedom of Expression, Allegation of Corruption, Pretrial Detention and Lack of Fair Trial, Inadequate Health Service Delivery, Excessive Use of Force and Police Brutality, and Prison Conditions & the Rights of Inmates.”

FOHRD, in a press statement said that on Monday, March 31st, its Department of Complaints and Investigations was   officially commissioned and instructed to investigate those six thematic areas.

“We sent out 10 trained and professional human rights monitors in 10 of the 15 counties, namely Bomi, Bong, Grand Gedeh, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Gbarpolu, Margibi, Montserrado, Sinoe and Nimba, for the purpose of gathering information on human rights violations and abuses around the country.”

Unlike the group’s first report, its second National Human Rights Report, which covers the period from May 25, 2021, to June 25, 2021, highlights four thematic areas and makes recommendations on how these issues can be mitigated.  

Marginalization of Liberia-owned businesses, constant commission of rape, allegedly including some law enforcement officers, high increase in prices of major commodities in rural Liberia, and Lack of shelter for law enforcement officers in rural Liberia are the four areas highlighted in FOHRD’s second report.

According to FOHRD, in order to mitigate these issues, it recommends among others, a temporarily salary cap of US$3000 monthly for positions on government payroll; the improvement of road networks to enable the easy movement of people and goods; and the retraining of law enforcement officers and the provision of adequate facilities for the performance of their official duties;  the launching of an immediate and credible investigation by the Liberian Government into the work permit scandal at the Ministry of Labor involving the DEKO Mining Company in Grand Cape Mount County, making the findings public and penalizing those responsible for the corrupt practice.

FOHRD added that the Liberian Government takes appropriate actions to ensure that rape cases across     the country are immediately investigated and perpetrators are brought to justice.

The FOHRD Executive Director, Mr. Tee Wonokay, in this report reminds everyone that in Liberia today, “We are witnessing a national neglect of our government’s constitutional responsibility to provide health care and educational opportunities for the most vulnerable. Civil servants get paid non-livable wages that barely arrive on time, and many Liberian children are left to grow up with no education and no future. There are steps that we can take now to end the destruction of our democracy, but we have to work together; we have to be patriotic and put national interests over personal aggrandizements.”

“FOHRD, believes in the promise of democracy, and thinks that it is not too late to stop its decline in Liberia. Therefore, Liberians must be serious about confronting these societal ills together. This is how we will help Liberia find its rightful place in the comity of nations and make it a better nation for future generations,” Wonokay said.

FOHRD assured Liberians that it doesn’t work for the government or the opposition. “FOHRD works for the Liberian people and will be vigilant and consistent in pointing out human rights abuses and violations wherever and whenever they occur.”

You can read FOHRD’s National Human Report here.

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