Liberians Asked to Rally to the Defense of Jailed Human Rights Defender Aloysius Toe

(A Press Release Issued by Kplio Association USA)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

March 24, 2003

The Kplio Association USA, Inc. has been following with serious concerns the gruesome detention of Aloysius Toe, a kinsman and compatriot who was arrested on November 4, 2002, and is being detained without trial. Indeed, we are deeply concerned that Mr. Toe, a passionate defender of the rights of all Liberians and an indomitable freedom fighter, is languishing in Taylor's den, while the nation is dead silent. We therefore call on all freedom-loving Liberians to wake up and rally to the defense of Mr. Toe by simply demanding either his speedy trial or unconditional release.

The unlawful detention of Mr. Toe clearly vindicates him and other Liberian human rights defenders who have unequivocally spoken against Taylor's flagrant abuse of human rights in Liberia. We strongly believe that Mr. Toe is innocent and that he is being subjected to such inhumane treatment because he is one of those few patriotic Liberians who have chosen to heed the cry of our beloved country. He therefore deserves the sympathy and support of all Liberians who are now yearning for peace and human dignity.

We would also like to categorically state that Mr. Toe is not a violent man; hence he cannot be a gun-toting rebel. A man of humble upbringing in Barclayville, Grand Kru County, Mr. Toe is undoubtedly a law-abiding Liberian citizen who has genuine respect for legitimate authority. However, he has special sensitivity to the rights and dignity of other human beings whom he would rather uncompromisingly defend through peaceful, non-violent means. Mr. Toe has always done so according to the dictates of his conscience to which he is now a prisoner.

We also acknowledge with similar concerns the plight of other Liberian human rights activists who share Mr. Toe's fate. Our hearts equally go down for them and their immediate families who are facing security harassment and threats on the daily basis.

With these concerns, we call on the Taylor regime to stop paying lip service to the much-cherished reconciliation process of the Liberian people. The executive committee of Klipo Association USA, Inc. is demanding that Mr. Toe's constitutional rights be restored immediately. We are also urging the government of Liberia to heed the call of democracy and respect the rights of its citizens irrespective of their ethnicity. The exercise of free speech should not be misconstrued as threat to the state. In a word, it is the Taylor regime that should re-examine itself and find out if it is not its own enemy.

The National Executive Committee
Kplio Association USA, Inc.