AFRICA/LIBERIA - Bishops denounce serious human rights violations in the application of measures to contain Covid-19

Friday, 8 May 2020 coronavirus   human rights   bishops   justice  

Monrovia (Agenzia Fides) - "Since the beginning of the emergency phase, there have been gross violations and missteps in the enforcement of the state of emergency and the measures as announced by the President", denounce the Bishops of Liberia, in a collective statement issued by the National Commission of "Catholic Justice, Peace and Caritas" (NCJPC).
Also in Liberia, as in other African Countries, measures have been taken to contain Covid-19. In their statement the Bishops recognize that "during a statement of emergency, certain rights are sospended ", but this does not mean that the dignity of every human being is and must be upheld. The Bishops made reference to the April 23 video recording that went viral showing security personnel believed to be officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) and Executive Protective Services (EPS), "torturing, flogging, and using sticks" to punish 33-year-old Mohammed Komara, on grounds that he bridged security at the President’s house.
Other cases reported in the bishops' statement include the mistreatment of a pregnant woman in labor and her accompanying person, who were going to the hospital, however violating the afternoon curfew. The pregnant woman fell from the bike, got burned on the leg and wounded in the process. The Bishops, who also decried the threats to the media with the excuse of fighting the spread of fake news, say that these episodes are "totally unacceptable and must end"
"The NCJPC would like to remind the Government and its functionaries, that the Constitution has not been sospended. The National Legislature and judiciary must face these violations in a civilized and legal manner", conclude the Bishops. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 8/5/2020)