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Liberians Rally for Justice

first_imgDemonstrators gathered at the American Embassy to present their petition demanding the establishment of a war and economic crimes court in Liberia(Photo: Greg H. Stemn)Demand establishment of war and economic crimes court in LiberiaHundreds of Liberians under the banner “Campaigners and Victims For Justice,” yesterday, November 12, marched through the principal streets of Monrovia to present petitions to the American Embassy, European Union, United Nations and to the office of President George Weah, calling for the establishment of War and Economic Crimes’ Court in Liberia to seek justice for victims of the 14 years civil conflict (1989-2003).The protest march which created a traffic gridlock across Monrovia, was well attended by a mix of old people, youth, children, and even street hustlers including Zogos, who sang and danced as they trooped from their assembly point at the Centennial Pavilion to the United States Embassy and then to the European Union office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and finally to the United Nations headquarters on Tubman Boulevard, crying for justice for their loved ones and families victimized during the war.In a related development, a separate group of demonstrators had also besieged the entire Jallah Town route connecting the Capitol By-Pass demanding the restoration of electricity to the community, which the protesters claimed had been in darkness for over three weeks.Meanwhile the war crimes protesters continued singing and chanting “We are the victims we can’t get tired, the pro-poor government we want justice, Liberian people what you want….we want justice, your leave us oh da justice we want…”A concerned Liberian resident from Canada, Emmanuel Savice, who led the protest action declared, “We are serious about justice and accountability because no country will develop without ending the culture of impunity. If you ever think that God will come down and bless us, the two hundred and fifty thousand souls will continue to keep us down until we seek justice in this country.”Emmanuel SaviceWhen asked about the views of those Liberians that are calling for restorative justice, instead, Savice angrily said, “We want retributive justice for our people we lost their lives. You can’t tell me what I want. I lost my three brothers, one sister, my mother is still mourning for them. That is why I am pushing for international justice for every human being who his or her life.”Continuing, Savice said the current government campaigned on a platform for justice, “so they must stand up and listen to the cry of innocent Liberians who lost their parents and other relatives during the war and give them justice.”The protesters in their Petition said that crimes committed by the perpetrators violated international criminal laws, international human rights laws and international humanitarian laws and therefore they should not go unpunished.Savice said there are facts and evidence that tell the sad and ugly story of the country which is readily and conspicuously available in every nook and cranny of the country.“Heads of warring factions were involved in the massive killing of our people and the destruction of our country and they still walk freely in the midst of their victims that they violated, degraded, abused, vilified, raped and sexually enslaved during the heydays of their violence,” he said.Savice said, “These war criminals’ massacred and engaged in extra-judicial killings, and other unthinkable crimes against their victims and they still linger in the minds of Liberians, owing to the fact that justice is being delayed and denied.”He said the sorrow and agony of the Liberian people lie in the ugly fact that these very war criminals have been rewarded with state power in all its ramifications, thereby giving them political control over their victims against their will.“This kind of scenario continues to torment and psychologically affect the people of Liberia.  It is no secret that the Liberian brutal civil war produced numerous massacres like the killings of the five Catholic Nuns, the Sinje Massacre, the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Massacre in Sinkor and others,” he said.The petitioners said only a War Crimes Court will bring justice to the families, relatives, and friends of victims who were gruesomely murdered and raped. Savice said seeking justice for these barbaric crimes is the only way to right the wrong, reconcile the country and its people and finally end the culture of impunity in Liberia.“It will be sad, regrettable and shameful for the world to let these atrocities go unpunished. It will be disappointing and a mistake for such heinous crimes to go unpunished. These appalling crimes must be investigated, and the required judicious measures taken to avoid replication in the future,” he said.Savice further maintained, “Also on record is the persistent greed and dishonesty of leaders of the country who also, with impunity continue to unduly amass wealth for themselves, thereby subjecting the entire citizenry to horrible poverty.” He said the constant wave of corruption which pervades the country keeps the people in a state of poverty and disease has denied them basic life incentives because people elected to power personalize the country’s wealth at their detriment.He said corruption in government must be wiped out to bring about the needed development in the country. “Corruption is eating up every part of Liberia, impoverishing 90% of the citizenry. It is eating up the entire country making development stagnant,“. Savice said corruption is the vice responsible for reducing many citizens to beggars on a daily basis and it must stop, he emphasized.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Driver sought after deadly hit-and-run

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Geha was a school principal in Lebanon but left the country with his family in 1986 to escape the civil war. He was a family man. After a day of work, he would often go to visit his daughter – but not before a quick stop at his Tujunga home to pick up a jar of homemade pickles or olives to give her, Balta said. Geha died at Huntington Memorial Hospital the evening of the collision. His death followed another hit-and-run crash in Glendale on Nov. 19 that claimed the life of Oscar Torres, 18, of Burbank. “I don’t think we’ve had any (fatal hit-and-runs) in the last two years, but we’ve had two in the last three weeks,” said Glendale police Investigator Matt Gunnell. On the evening he was killed, Geha visited his mother-in-law at a convalescent home with his wife and the Baltas. He went to wait for the others outside just before they left. After Geha’s wife, Osanna, came out of the home, a firetruck had already arrived, and she saw a body in the street. She recognized the boots on the feet as her husband’s. Besides his wife of 36 years, Geha had two daughters and a son living in Los Angeles County. “They’re all depressed … they’re not eating even,” Balta said. Two witnesses told police the vehicle that struck Geha was a dark-colored car, most likely of Japanese make, Gunnell said. Police do not know if it was a two-door or four-door, but the car had a trunk, and one witness said it was not well-maintained. The witnesses were not able to describe the driver but did see the vehicle turn west on California Avenue after the collision. Police ask anyone with information to call the traffic unit at (818) 548-3132, or the Crime Stoppers line at (818) 507-STOP. A funeral service is set for 12:30 p.m. Friday at the church at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills. Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304 alex.dobuzinskis@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! GLENDALE – Elias Geha had at least two things to look forward to this month. On Christmas Eve, he would have celebrated his 69th birthday. And at month’s end, he would have finished his job as a security guard, allowing him and his wife to move back to Lebanon for his long-anticipated retirement. But Geha’s life ended Saturday after he was struck by a car while crossing a street about 6:25 p.m. in Glendale. The unidentified driver fled the scene at California Avenue and Verdugo Road. “He didn’t care about himself, he cared about other people,” said John Balta, 53, Geha’s brother-in-law. “He went out of his way to help people out.” last_img read more