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Friday, May 24, 2024

US ANNOUNCES NEW VISA RESTRICTIONS IN ADVANCE OF ELECTIONS FOR PEOPLE UNDERMINING DEMOCRACY IN LIBERIA

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MONROVIA – The United States Secretary of State, Anthony J. Blinken yesterday announced a new visa policy for people undermining democracy in Liberia.

In a statement, Blinken says “The United States is committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Liberia and around the world. Today, I am announcing a new visa restriction policy under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for those undermining democracy in Liberia. This policy will take effect in advance of the upcoming election.

“Under this policy, the United States will pursue visa restrictions for those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Liberia, including through manipulation or rigging of the electoral process; use of violence to prevent people from exercising their rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly; use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from disseminating their views; or engagement in any other activity designed to improperly influence the outcome of an election. Certain family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions. Persons who undermine democracy in Liberia—including in the lead-up to, during, and following Liberia’s 2023 elections—may be found ineligible for U.S. visas under this policy.”

Blinken notes that “The visa restriction policy announced yesterday will apply to specific individuals and is not directed at the Liberian people or the Government of Liberia. The decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the commitment of the United States to support Liberians’ aspirations to have free and fair elections that demonstrate the will of the people and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.”

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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