Liberians to Protest Against the Illegal Detention of Aloysius Toe and Others
(A Press Release Issued by the National Civil Rights Movement)
The National Civil Rights Movement (NCRM) is deeply concerned about the current Monrovia regime's habit of committing gross human rights violations against the Liberian people, and demands that the regime abandon this undemocratic practice.
On November 4, 2002, human rights activist, Aloysius Toe, was arrested after he and others from the "Liberia Coalition of Human Rights Defenders" announced plans for a week-long campaign to call for the unconditional release of brothers Hassan Bility (he broke the illegal chains and is now free), Ansumana Karama, Sheikh Sackor, and other illegally detained Liberians. Was there any prohibition against this planned, non-violent action by Mr. Toe and others? The answer, of course, is "no."
The Liberian Constitution protects the non-violent, weeklong campaign of solidarity announced by Mr. Toe and other human rights activists, and the Monrovia regime knew this. However, the regime, in an obvious effort to silence dissent, needed a reason to justify its illegal detention of Mr. Toe. So it turned to a charge that has become a hallmark of its undemocratic rule--treason. The regime then raided Mr. Toe's house and announced that it found an emailed "document" from the LURD dissidents at his residence. The regime's justification for arresting and charging Mr. Toe with "treason", however, defies common sense. The alleged, highly unsolicited "document" had been publicly disseminated on the Internet and sent to various individuals, worldwide. The regime has yet to cite any other evidence to support its charge of "treason" against Mr. Toe.
Moreover, with what appears to be a designed effort to prolong its illegal detention of Mr. Toe, the regime has made repeated motions in court for continuance and a change of venue. This display of game is unacceptable because a man's life is being toyed with. Every reasonable mind knows that Mr. Toe was targeted because of his unyielding campaign for the protection of the fundamental rights of the Liberian people. This is an exercise of a constitutionally protected right, and Mr. Toe should not be in prison or on trial for so acting. Instead, he should be immediately and unconditionally released.
NCRM is equally concerned about the illegal detentions (and likely torture) of Ansumana Kamara, Mohammed Komara, Mohammed Dukuly, Sheikh Sackor, Mobutu Kromah, and other Liberians. These Liberians are also being illegally detained; some were arrested for exercising their constitutionally protected right to befriend another Liberian. This is also unacceptable, and it must stop.
In its recent press release, LIMANY observed that: "It is hypocritical and a severe travesty of justice when the one breaking the law is the one who is sworn to protect the very same law as president." We fully agree, and strongly condemn the gross human rights violations that are being committed against the Liberian people.
Accordingly, the National Civil Rights Movement in coordination with a cross-section of Liberian organizations, other freedom-loving Liberians, and friends of Liberia will hold a non-violent protest on the United States Capital Ground in Washington DC, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, May 8th, 2003. There we will demand that the Monrovia regime respects the laws of Liberia and the rights of our people by timely releasing the following prisoners of conscience: Aloysius Toe, Ansumana Kamara, Mohammed Dukuly, Bangalee Sheriff, Mohammed Komara, Sheikh Sackor, and other illegally detained Liberians so that they can resume their respective, law-abiding lifestyles.
As previously noted, NCRM is in contact with a cross-section of Liberian organizations, other freedom-loving Liberians, and friends of Liberia in an honest desire to form a broad-based coalition in order to send a loud and clear message to the Monrovia regime. We intend to make reasonable efforts to contact other Liberian organizations as well as other freedom-loving Liberians for their participations.
All would agree that Mr. Aloysius Toe could have turned a blind eye to the gross human rights violations being committed against the Liberian people and devoted more time to his loved ones. For it is said that a man’s first responsibility lies with his family. We now know that he devoted that responsibility to the entire nation. Indeed, he is one of the most thoughtful men amongst us. His just cause instructs and inspires us as we seek freedom and democracy for every Liberian. We owe it to him, other illegally detained Liberians, and the entire nation to participate in this non-violent protest. We look forward to your presence at the United States Capitol Ground in Washington D.C., from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, May 8th, 2003.
As always, your voice is needed to call upon the Monrovia regime to end its gross violations of human rights, and to immediately release all illegally detained Liberians. This coordinated protest will let brothers Aloysius Toe, Ansumana Kamara, Mohammed Dukuly, Bangalee Sheriff, Mohammed Komara, Sheikh Sackor, and other illegally detained Liberians know that we share their pain and anguish as a result of their illegal detention and we are adding our voices to those of thousands of others to secure their release from this illegal detention. This is our patriotic duty for the cause of freedom and democracy in Liberia and we shall never fail to carry on that duty.
For more information, please contact the following individuals:
Asumana Jabateh-Randolph: 718-
Nvasekie N. Konneh: 610-394-3078
Charles Kwalonue Sunwabe, Jr.: 703-585-9656
Alvin J. Teage: 267-934-6603
Bendu Renee Johnson: 267 257 7596
Kalifala Donzo: 703 878 5930
Musa Sackor: 301 429 3421
Mohammed Verdier: 267 205 6211.
Signed: Alvin Teage
Acting Secretary General
Approved: Nvasekie N. Konneh
Acting Chairman, NCRM