LIBERIA – Christopher Walter Sisulu Sivil has warned Liberians that political violence could escalate during Liberia’s upcoming general and presidential elections on October 10, 2023, if those accountable for acts of violence are not held accountable for their action.
Sivil, a member of a campus-based political party, the Student Unification Party (SUP) at the University of Liberia, warning is from the backdrop of brutal attack and torture suffered during a protest on July 26, 2022, which no progress regarding the prosecution of those found guilty.
Recently in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), Sivil expressed frustration that the incident last year July 26, the government has taken no steps toward prosecuting those who violated his rights; emphasizing that the doers continue to act with impunity while he lives in trauma.
Last year, Sivili and several SUP members staged a protest dubbed “Fixe The Country” in front of the US Embassy near Monrovia, criticizing the government on various issues during Liberia’s Independence Day Celebration. It was during the demonstration that Sivili was targeted and assaulted by a group of individuals identifying themselves as members of the pro-government CDC-Council of Patriots (COP).
Grieving Sivili said: “I was abducted, tortured, and humiliated by supporters of the Weah’s government on July 26 last year, and to this day, there has been no progress in the justice system regarding the prosecution of those found guilty.”
As a victim of torture in Liberia, Sivili is using this opportunity to call upon the government of Liberia and the international community to address his ordeal and the broader human rights situation in the country.
Sivili added, “On July 26, 2022, we were demanding that the government of Liberia address the report from the LACC concerning the Agriculture Minister, as well as investigate the corruption scandal at LISGIS. However, suddenly, we found ourselves confronted by drug-addicted thugs claiming to be CDC members, who were deployed to harm us in the name of counter-protest.”
Kendrick S. Pelenah, 30; Joshua S. Karr, 28; Pukar Roberts, 36; Ben B. Togbah, 25; Foday N. Massaquoi, 23; Aaron K. Chea, 26 and Abdurahman Barrie members of a pro-government group known as CDC-COP were arrested by police for brutalizing student, Christopher Walter Sisulu Sivil.
Following the arrest and prosecution of the thugs, President Weah issued a statement saying, “I want to stress, as the founding father of the Congress for Democratic Change, now Coalition for Democratic Change, that we do not have any CDC-COP within our organization.”
Although the CDC-COP militants were carrying pictures of the president as they clashed with the anti-government protestors the President said, “Anyone or group that has my image on a banner in support of me and my government has to be peaceful, respectful, and tolerant.”
Sivili is now currently living in exile. He is calling for an independent investigation and the prosecution of those responsible for violating his human rights, urging the government of Liberia and international partners to take action.