The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) has warned Liberian politicians that are in the habit of instigating violence against their political opponents to desist or face “serious” consequences.
INCHR which is clothed with the authority to protect and promote human rights issues in Liberia, in a statement issue in Monrovia on Thursday through its Chairperson, Cllr. T. Dempster Brown, said it is appalled by the wave of lawlessness that has occasioned the processes leading to Liberia’s crucial October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
“INCHR particularly wants to raise concern to the spike of violence and hate statements that have been made by political leaders in recent times,” the Human Commission said.
“INCHR cautions politicians to be mindful of statements that have the tendency to draw the supporters of rival parties into chaos and violence, something which would undermine peaceful elections and render citizens and residents vulnerable to injuries and loss of lives.”
It said: “NCHR reminds political leaders that pre and post-election violence that are engineered by politicians would have serious legal consequences. INCHR take notes of the election violence in other countries and notifies all actors that international human rights instruments including the Statute of the International Criminal Court which Liberia ratified in 2004 are applicable at all times.
“NCHR avers that those who believe that they can incite violence and chaos without accountability are living in illusion, because the INCHR has vowed to prevail on the national community to sanction those who engage in violence that lead to the violation to the right to life.”
The INCHR’s warning comes in the wake of an attack on the Christ Chapel of Faith Church of Senator Prince Y. Johnson on Sunday by the National Patriotic Party (NPP) Youth Wing, disrupting normal service.
Condemning the NPP Youth, the INCHR said: “The action by the group of youth under the banner of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) Youth Wing to disrupt church services at the Christ Chapel of Faith was awful and should be condemned. INCHR reminds all Liberian politicians to avoid using young people to create havoc and chaos during this electoral period.”
The Commission then called on the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to take immediate steps to ensure those that are involved in these violent acts are arrested and prosecuted consistent with due process of law.