Detained former Liberian Chief Justice Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott has flagged prolonged pre-trial detention, lack of access to justice, deplorable, and life-threatening hygiene conditions of prison facilities in Monrovia.
Reports reaching this paper say Cllr. Scott has called for urgent help for women prisoners, especially young women inmates who lack access to justice and are facing deplorable conditions at the Monrovia Central Prison or South Beech.
Cllr. Scott and three of her family members are behind bars at South Beach Prison, a maximum prison facility in Monrovia. She has been probing into concerns of women inmates at the facility.
Former Chief Justice Scott and her family members Rebecca Youdeh Wilson, Gertrude Newton, and Alice C. Johnson are charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, and [providing] false reports to law enforcement officials.
They were charged and sent to court Thursday, 22 June 2023 after several months of police investigation about the murder of Cllr. Scott’s daughter Charloe Musu.
The defendants are accused of using a sharp instrument believed to be a knife to stab the late Charloe Musu.
Charloe’s death in February this year shocked the country and heightened security fears.
She was murdered at Cllr. Scott’s residence after the former Chief Justice reported to police authorities two separate incidents of alleged armed robbery attacks at her home in Brewerville.
According to reliable sources, the former Justice has pleaded with Female Lawyers and Human Rights groups to urgently consider providing access to justice for women behind bars.
Cllr. Scott is experiencing first-hand the plights of pre-trial detainees.
She has also asked her friends, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and well-wishers to target efforts at improving the condition of the female wards of the South Beach prison, including repair of the windows, leakages of the roof, and supply of hygiene kits for the imprisoned women.
Cllr. Scott is said to have opined that her alleged ‘wrongful detention’ allows her to experience firsthand the abuse and violation of the rights of female prisoners, especially the ordeal of young women.
The long-serving legal practitioner and women’s rights advocate tells our sources that the situation has renewed her vigor to champion the rights of women, including prolonged pretrial detainees who lack access to justice and those experiencing inhumane conditions behind bars.