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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - Liberia

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 26 March 2003
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - Liberia, 26 March 2003, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Defenders held in detention and tortured47

Lawyer Tiawan Gongloe was arrested on 24th April 2002 and held until 1st May, first at a police station and then in hospital where he had been transferred following the ill-treatment and torture he hand been subjected to on his first night in detention. He was arrested after a speech he made in late March, calling for peace in the Mano River region; the speech was considered to be anti-government and pro-rebel. The weekly The Analyst, which published it, was temporarily closed down and its editor, Mr. Hassan Bility, was questioned.

Mr. Bility was then arrested on 25th June 2002 and accused of collaborating with the armed rebel group Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and fomenting an assassination attempt against the Head of State. Detained in solitary confinement and regarded as a prisoner of war, he was probably tortured. He was released on 30th October 2002.

The premises of the Movement for the Defence of Human Rights (MODHAR) were besieged on 24th April after the association's director, Mr. Aloysius Toe, also General Secretary of the Liberian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, had made public statements calling for the immediate release of Tiawan Gongloe. Later, on 4th November 2002, Mr. Toe was arrested after a police raid on his home. According to the authorities, he would have received an e-mail from the LURD and documents found at his home established a link between him and the armed opposition force. Mr. Toe was charged with "treason" by the Monrovia Court and detained in the central prison in Monrovia, where at the end of 2002 he was still awaiting trial.

Acts of torture against Mr. Thompson T. Ade-Bayor48

Mr. Thompson T. Ade-Bayor, director of Liberia Watch for Human Rights, had to go abroad for several months for medical treatment after being tortured during his detention from 14th to 20th September 2001. He was detained for issuing a press release about the antiterrorist unit and the need to restructure the national army. Mr. Ade-Bayor returned to Liberia in late 2002.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website ( was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

47. See Observatory's intervention with the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights (May 2002).

48. See Annual Report 2001.

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