Liberia: FOHRD’s Executive Director Rallies Rights Community to Unite and Speak with One Accord

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Monrovia – The Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights Defense International-Liberia (FOHRD), Mr. Torbor Tee Wonokay, has rallied members of the human rights community to unite and begin speaking with one voice on national issues affecting Liberians and the country.

Wonokay told his audience recently that there are so many people in Liberia who are suffering, and those people are not responsible for the inflictions that they are going through. He stressed that after 174 years, Liberia’s democracy shouldn’t be where it is at the moment.

“There are boys and girls in this town that we call ‘zogos’, there are young people that we refer to as illiterate, sometimes people even call them plebians, but I want to tell you that it is this constitutional republic that has turned its back on those young people.”

He emphasized that five years ago, if Liberia had invested in the education of young people ‘as per the constitution’ things would have been different than it is now.

Wonokay, who is based in the US, made the statement when he delivered remarks at the one-day symposium organized by his rights group on November 5th at a local hotel.

“When I flew into this country, all the way from the airport to ELWA Junction and beyond, you can literally see that suffering has overwhelmed so many people in this country,” he stated.

He further told his audience, which included rights activists of various rights and civil society groups, and legal luminaries — former Chief Justice Frances Johnson Allison — that in a country where so many boys and girls can’t go to school because their parents can’t afford, “senators and representatives, ministers and directors of public corporations shouldn’t be making US$25 and US$30,000 per month.”

“There are people in this town who are sycophantically inclined to the issue of institutional injustice.”

Wonokay than rallied the rights community by calling on all of them to combine their efforts to be able to stand on the side of justice.

He reminded the audience that Mulbah Morlu, the chairman of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), had said to the opposition, according to him, just a month after the CDC ascended to state power: “We will annihilate you, we will destroy you, we will uproot your foundation, we will make you incapable to compete and you will be left with two choices, you eat the crumbs or you join our party.” According to Wonokay, Morlu’s statement meant clearly that they (ruling establishment) had intended to undermine the justice system of the country, adding: “You are saying, you can do whatever you want to do and get away with it.”

He disclosed that in the last two years, he has spent more than US$300,000 of his personal money fighting for the cause of justice, empowering human rights investigators and his investment is aimed at protecting the human rights of all and for the return of ‘constitutional order.’

“We have got to be able to stand on the side of justice, and we have got to be fearless…I hope this will begin the moment of new partnership between us, human rights groups, so that we will work together to demand for justice in this town. We have got to steak together. When we decide to come together today and stand on the side of justice and fight for human rights and constitutional and transformational democracy, we will bring about change in this country,” he rallied the rights community.

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