The Liberian Government may face what is called a “legal class action” by the Liberian People’s Party (LPP) presumed presidential hopeful, Taiwan Saye Gongloe. A dispatch from the Cllr. Gongloe says the human rights lawyer and activist said he will institute the appropriate legal ‘class action” against the government for brutalizing peaceful protesters.
The disclosure was contained in his statement of condemnation of the July 26 Attacks on protesters of the campus-based Student Unification Party (SUP) who had gone to the United States Embassy in Liberia to present a statement on the state of bad governance in the country.
The immediate past President of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) and Liberia Peoples Party’s presidential hopeful who is presently in the United States said upon his return to Liberia, “We will institute the appropriate legal action to hold accountable those responsible for this mindless display of such a devilish force against the peaceful and law-abiding students of the University of Liberia.”
Accordingly, Cllr. Gongloe called on President George Weah, not only to condemn this act of savagery, but to also take the appropriate steps to bring to justice those responsible for the crimes committed against these peaceful citizens.
“President Weah has no other choice in this matter, because the first and most important function of any government is to protect its citizens,” he stated.
In his statement, the articulate lawyer condemned, deprecated and denounced in no uncertain terms the unprovoked attacks on the members of the Student Unification Party by the pro-government militia of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) on the 175th independence anniversary of the Republic of Liberia.
By all accounts, Cllr. Gongloe maintained that the students were attacked while they were exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and speech. “ Worst still, it is reported that the police were watching and cheering the attackers, rather than arresting them”, he said.
He asserted that there cannot be ‘any common sense reason’ for the extremely cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of these patriotic and nationalistic sons and daughters of our beloved motherland.
“The only crime committed by the main victim of the brutality – student Christopher Walter Sisulu sivili, who was subjected to extreme viciousness by a collective deadly force of the evil militia group of the government-backed CDC-COP was to peacefully assemble around the vicinity of the Embassy of the United States of America to show to the world that there was no reason for Liberians to celebrate the 175th Independence day of Liberia”, he averred.
“In any country governed by the rule of law, this action on the part of student Christopher and his colleagues is a legally protected right guaranteed by the constitution and international human rights instruments,” the Liberian lawyer and politician said, noting, “Sadly, under the Weah led CDC Government, the lack of respect for the rule of law and human rights is fast turning Liberia, a constitutional democracy, into a fascist state, evidenced by the current lawlessness in the country.”
The Counselor called on President George Manneh Weah to stop leading Liberia on the path to another state of anarchy for Liberians do not want to be reminded of the ugly past of the use of forces such as the NDPL Task force of the 1980s and the SOD and ATU of the Taylor era.
“Neither do Liberians want to live under a government created atmosphere of fear and intimidation as was experienced through the brute force of the Tonton Macoute of Haiti under the rule of General Duvalier, Papa Doc,” Cllr. Gongloe said.
As a former Acting Chairman of the Student Unification Party in 1981 and a past victim of state sponsored brutality, Gongloe exclaimed: “I cannot sit by idly, and allow the gallant men and women of the Vanguard Student Unification Party, to be victims of state sponsored terrorism”.
He said “upon our return to Liberia, we will institute the appropriate legal action to hold accountable those responsible for this mindless display of such a devilish force against the peaceful and law-abiding students of the University of Liberia”.
He said the high frequency of unexplained deaths and government’s declining ability to maintain law and order undermines public trust in the ability of the Government of Liberia to sustain the peace and create an enabling environment for free political activities, progress in the reconstruction of Liberia and the economic development of Liberia. We call on President George Weah to stop the continuing erosion of the gains the Liberia people have made in sustaining the peace and building a democratic society.
“We call on all citizens of Liberia, irrespective of our political differences, to speak with one voice in condemning the violence committed against members of the Student Unification Party on the 175th Anniversary of the Independence of Liberia. This display of naked brutality was a desecration of the number one holiday of Liberia” he notes, adding, “In the words of our national anthem, “in Union Strong Success is sure. We cannot fail”.