Jarwlee Tweh Geegbe, Human Rights Activist
A human rights Activist based in the United States of America says his attention has been drawn to the reported flogging of residents by police officers in and around Monrovia.
Jarwlee Tweh Geegbe said he condemns these acts and should be condemned by all well-meaning people.
According to Mr. Geegbe, a Liberian based in the US, these are acts of human rights violation being allegedly perpetrated by the security in the name of enforcing curfew for the COVID-19 pandemic.
President George Weah Wednesday April 8, 2020 declared State of Emergency (SOE) affecting all fifteen counties as part of measures in curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic that ravaging the global.
Since the declaration of the SOE and lockdown for three weeks from 3:00pm to 6:00am daily, state security officers and some security officers who are not part of the joint security of the state are allegedly carrying out brutalities against peaceful citizens.
However, Mr. Geegbe said while it is worthy to observe social distancing, the alleged flogging is not the best solution to realizing the only remedy to defeating the disease.
“I call on the government to stop the wanton beating of people. I join the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (UNSPT), and the Special Reporteur on Freedom of Expression, and other national civil society groups that the Government of Liberia should carry out its responses to the COVID-19 emergency with the care not to violate national, regional and international human rights principles. Let it be of a caution that accountability should be the guide of any actions in this emergency,” Mr. Geegbe said in a dispatch from the USA.
Meanwhile, Mr. Geegbe has welcomed President George Weah’s proposal to provide US$25 million worth of food relief to residents.
The Human Rights Activist further said “I want the Government through the National Legislature put in place an accountability framework and mechanisms for the disbursement and distribution of said relief. I propose that they remove its agencies from this exercise and placed in the care of religious leaders, the Red Cross and civil society groups.”
“Government has never been good administrators of relief efforts and this one is overwhelmingly needed to reach the bottom of the society. Let the Government use this exercise to maintain, strengthen, and recollect the public’s lost credibility and trust. The Government should remain the policy regulator, recipient of performance reports, complaints. I do not want a fresh repeat of the unaccounted millions that were provided during the Ebola crisis and the US$25 million for the economy,” he warned.
Mr. Geegbe reminded policy makers that all these millions were managed by the past and present Governments, which are still fresh on the minds of the people.
The Luminary Human Rights Activist further maintains that with such hard lessons learned, Government should remove itself from direct administration of this relief.
“I call on every resident throughout Liberia to abide by the Government’s emergency response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic. This disease is real, unlike what most believe that is not. Let us not approach it as was done with the Ebola pandemic. It is claiming lives cross the world, in countries of rich economies, advanced medical and health services, effective response systems. Let us do the only remedy to defeat this pandemic, stay home when you have no reason to be out, keep the social distancing. Our survivals depend on one another,” he appealed to Liberians and other nationals within the bailiwicks of the country.