Stop the Persistent Barbaric Treatment of Peaceful Law-abiding Citizens

(Statement issued by MDCL on May 1, 2002 )

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 2, 2002

We, the officers and members of the Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia (MDCL), wish to express our utter consternation at the arrest, detention and torturing of human rights lawyer Counselor Tiawon S. Gongloe by the Liberian Government security personnel. These same killers who murdered Jackson F. Doe, David G. Dwanyen, David Toweh, Cooper Teah, Moses Duopu, Lewis Bailey, Gisi Kpan, Stephen Daniels, Alfred Flomo, and tens of thousands of other Liberians are now licensed as security agents.

Mr. Taylor and his criminal gang did not stop their killing spree even after he was rewarded the presidency. They went on to butcher Samuel Saye Dokie, his family members, Madam Flomo, Francois Massaquoi, Vice President Enoch Dogolea and many other Liberians. They also attacked and manhandled CEDE Executive Director Conmany B. Wisseh, Dr. Amos Sawyer the former President of the Interim Government, and students leaders of the University of Liberia. Opposition political leaders, journalist, human right leaders, lawyers, have been forced politicians into exile.

According to US Embassy official, Liberian security forces yesterday prevented US Ambassador Bismarck Myrick from visiting Counselor Tiawon Gongloe in hospital. Meanwhile, security forces are demanding that Counselor Gongloe’s doctor turn him over to them.

MDCL is deeply infuriated by the persistent barbaric treatment of peaceful law-abiding citizens. The conduct of this criminal establishment is unacceptable and breaks the rule of law in the dastardliest way. In the wake of this, we call on Liberians, nations and organizations of the international community to:

1. Ask Mr. Taylor to, immediately, allow Counselor Gongloe to leave the country for better medical care;

2. Bring Mr. Taylor and his criminal gang to justice for crimes against the people of Liberian, Sierra Leone, and Guinea;

3. Demand the total restructuring of the security and military in accordance with the Abuja II Accord in 1996 in order to provide a suitable environment for elections;

4. Pressure the government of Liberia through sanctions until it becomes clear that human rights are respected in Liberia.

We are grateful to the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Human Rights Center, Press Union of Liberia, Friends of Liberia, the United States Government, Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas, Center for Democratic Empowerment, Human Rights Watch, The Perspective, The European Union, The Movement for the Defense of Human Rights, The Center for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, the Coalition of Progressive Liberians in the Americas, and other interest groups for speaking out against gross injustices and acts of barbarism that have become characteristic of Liberian political life.

It is our fervent hope that appropriate steps will be taken in the shortest possible time to help our nation regain its rightful place in the international community of nations.

God Bless Liberia

Nohn R. Kidau

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Atlanta, GA 31145