LIBERIA: Human Rights Activists Press for Justice in Liberia, USA
October 4, 2012
Five human rights organizations have today announced the formation of a coalition to advocate for justice, create awareness, and campaign for the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes in Liberia, thereby implementing a significant component of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC).
The coalition is self-styled, the Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL). According to the memorandum of understanding signed between the affiliating Liberian organizations in the Diaspora, CJL is established as a coalition institution for justice in Liberia and has as its mission and purpose to:
a. advocate for justice based on the reports of the TRC of Liberia, the laws of Liberia and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which restored peace to Liberia and mandated Liberians to redress the issues of impunity as a basis for lasting peace;
b. build and strengthen national democratic institutions and the rule of law in Liberia which will include monitoring, documenting and advocating their effective functioning as people-centered institutions of justice that uphold the rule of law and respect for human rights;
c. advocate justice for victims of Liberia's brutal civil wars by advocating reparation of all sorts, restitutions in appropriate circumstances, compensation and other forms of reparation including memorials for war victims based on the principles and recommendations of the TRC including the establishment of a war victim trust fund for the benefits of victims of war and serious human rights violations as recommended by the TRC of Liberia;
d. advocate the establishment of a war crimes court for Liberia to redress issues of impunity associated with the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other heinous crimes committed in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law during the protracted and senseless war in law;
The release issued today from Washington,D.C. quoted Ms. LovettaTugbeh, Interim Director of the CJL as saying the Coalition is currently working on efforts to institute prosecution abroad in the United States against Liberian perpetrators of war crimes including those who aided and abetted the commission of these crimes in Liberia, warlords and their patrons.
According to Ms. Tugbeh, the Coalition will establish an office in Monrovia and is working with other justice institutions, Liberian and non-Liberian, to ensure political, criminal and civil accountability by accused persons in the TRC Report in the USA and especially in Liberia. She said the first phase of the Coalition's advocacy is to name and shame those perpetrators and make sure that the USA is neither a safe haven for them nor a vacation joint where they travel and enjoy their bloody wealth without any form of accountability. She said until there is justice the Coalition will support citizens' suits in Liberia and the ill-gotten wealth acquired by these perpetrators in Liberia and hidden abroad in the names of other persons related to them will be the source of confiscation to compensate war victims.
The release concluded that the names of these persons will soon be published and shamed as dishonorable members of the human society who need to account; their war exploits will be exposed and the African Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) United Nations, United States, the European Union and other credible international bodies will be encouraged to sanction or prosecute these individuals and stop doing business with them and calls on Liberians at home and in the Diaspora everywhere to join this effort to restore adherence to the rule of law, justice and accountability to Liberia through this advocacy as the surest guarantee against recurrence of violent conflicts in Liberia.