“Shoot to Kill? – Total Madness”; Child Rights Advocate Laments

Liberian Youth Activist, Abraham Keita

The words at some time which government agencies or public servants spew make one wonders whether “common sense” and “best practice” have been screwed in the sordid noose of power’s perks. The outrage with which I write is justified, because so long, Liberians have been taken for granted by those who should be the frontiers of good governance.

I come from the human rights stance, and allowing the bizarre and booby assertion in the frame of a public announcement by the Management of the Liberia Airport Authority “shoot to kill” to go without being loathed and backlashed would only create rooms for bad practices, and in time, human rights abuses.

Every so often, there are inane proclamations or actions that seek to exploit the human conditions, and the senile authorization of the Armed Forces of Liberia “to shoot at sight, anyone who attempts to steal any of the navigation equipment, within the aerodrome or on the airside of the RIA” is hitherto another move that threatens human rights.

The Liberia Airport Authority, its management, must understand that Liberia is not a military state, and let them not rely on a presidential cachet to engage in killing those who may be considered “thieves”. Conventional and best practice dictates that a criminal or someone who steals any property or material must be given the due process of jurisprudence, and if found culpable of the offense which he or she is charged, must face prosecution, not execution, as agreed upon in the confines of Liberian laws and universal legal instruments. ‘Shoot to kill’ will not just be abhorred by all; it will as well invade international human rights conventions and the rage of such defenders.

Should the LAA/AFL carry out said order, kill a person or group of persons, it shall be in violation and total disregard for various provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 3 (right to life, liberty, and security); Article 5 (prevention from torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment); and Article 10 (right to be heard in a competent court of law).

The Government of Liberia, headed by H.E. George Weah, must never tread the path of violence, indignity, and rights abuses. We urge that adherence g to fundamental human rights must be the foundation stone of the “pro-poor” agenda.

So soon we have forgotten the heinous atrocity meted against residents of West Point by the AFL in 2014. A child was killed, and three others badly wounded. It hasn’t been that long, yet some memories cannot recall. Or do the LRA/AFL choose to ignore such tragedy?  Our grief and wounds are not assuaged. Respect people’s rights and dignity.

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