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18.11.2011 Opinion

The law: Liberians don't need permit

By Thomas Toteh
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In this 21st Century, no one can shut us for exercising our rights. We know you belong a violent nature leader. So what can you do besides insulting. Use your expertise to intellectually engae the discussion in a civil manner and show me, don't tell me what the laws are on the book.

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The Liberian Constitution like any other constitution has a fine print that needs legal interpretation. "Liberians don't need permit to demonstrate" does not mean demonstrations can't be guided and guarded by the police. But inasmuch the demonstrators remain peaceful, no arrests are necessary, let alone shooting. Permit, according to Article 2, is a restriction and is inconsistent: This right shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by government

Article 15
a) Every person shall have the right to freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof. This right shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by government save during an emergency declared in accordance with this Constitution.

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This Constitution is the supreme and fundamental law of Liberia and its provisions shall have binding force and effect on all authorities and persons throughout the Republic.

Any laws, treaties, statutes, decrees, customs and regulations found to be inconsistent with it shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void and of no legal effect.

Article 17
All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the Government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations.

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