The President of the Liberia Bar Association (LNBA) Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe says he remains committed to the principles and ideal of free speech and the rule of law in the country.
Cllr. Gongloe, who is one of Liberia’s prominent and leading human rights lawyers reflects that the fight for free speech and democracy has caused him enormous havoc, including detention, flogging and death threats from state actors, especially under the regime of jailed Ex-president Charles Ghankay Taylor.
According to him, despite threats posed to his life in a society that is gradually overwhelmed by chaos and violence, he remains resolute in demanding what is good and productive for the upliftment of the Liberian society.
Cllr. Gongloe made the statement recently when he received a CAM Freedom Award from the Grassroots Alternative Movement in Monrovia for his outstanding and sacrificial services to humanity.
The conferring of the CAM Freedom Award to Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe comes barley a week after a group under the banner, Team Gongloe, asked him to vie for the presidency in 2023.
Team Gongloe is a conglomeration of political and interest groupings, including the Movement to Ensure Liberia Transformation (MELT), Volunteers For Change (Voice), and the Liberian People’s Party (LPP), among others.
Presenting the award, the chairman for mobilization and recruitment of the Movement, Mr. Anthony S. Kollie, lauded Cllr. Gongloe for his courage, commitment and consistency in the fight for the rule of law and social justice in Liberia over the years.
Kollie however encouraged him never to give up on Liberia and its people, forecasting that better days are ahead.
Cllr. Gongloe chairs the steering committee of the newly established National Consortium to Eliminate Impunity that petitioned the Liberian Legislature recently calling for full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report.
The Consortium had planned to mobilize 100,000 Liberians into the street to parade to the Capitol, but due to health pandemic, the march was called off.
Members of the Consortium include the Liberia National Bar Association, National Civil Society Council of Liberia, Alliance for Transitional Justice – Liberia, Inter-Religious Council of Liberia, Faith and Justice Network, Transitional Justice Working Group, Movement for Better Liberia, Catholic Bishop Conference of Liberia, Global Justice Research Project, Association of Evangelical, Press Union of Liberia, Liberians United for Justice and Association, Liberia Massacre Victims Association, Federation of Liberian Youth, Liberia National Student Union, Liberia Council of Churches and National Imam Council of Liberia.
In a press release prior to the petition, the group noted that over Two Hundred Fifty Thousand (250,000) Liberians were killed, tens of thousands injured and millions were displaced internally across the country with others as refugees in neighboring countries as a result of the fourteen years brutal civil war in the country, adding that since the end of the civil war, no one has been held accountable for the massive killings and massacre of Liberians with the alleged perpetrators walking around with impunity. Editing by Jonathan Browne