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Pressure mounts for Taylor’s release

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A number of young people led by the Patriotic Consciousness Association of Liberia (PACA) have peacefully protested outside President George MannehWeah’s office in Monrovia, demanding former First Lady Agnes Reeves Taylor’s release from British cell.

During the protest Monday, 20 May, PACA National Executive Chairman Mr. E. Frederick Baye said the protesters assembled to demand response from the president of Liberia regarding their official communication addressed to him seeking redress to Agnes’ case.

Madam Agnes Reeves Taylor has been in British custody for about two years since her arrest in east London in early June 2017 on four counts of war crimes allegedly committed here during Liberia’s civil conflict between 1989 and 1991.

Her ex-husband, former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor is also facing a 50 – year jail sentence in a British prison.

The British authorities charged her with three counts of intentionally inflicting severe pain or suffering on an individual in the performance of her official duties.

Additionally, the British authorities also charged Madam Agnes Taylor after allegedly agreeing to conduct that amounts to the commission of torture.

An estimated 250,000 people were reported killed during Liberia’s civil conflict, properties destroyed and many more displaced by the bloodshed.

But her supporters including the group leading the advocacy for her release have disputed the charges brought against her, arguing that she is not one of those indicted by the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report.

“We are here to demand response for communication submitted to President Weah on April 16 of this year,” Mr. Baye says.

According to him, the government of Great Britain submitted an inquest to President Weah’s government, asking him to give some information regarding Madam Agnes Reeves Taylor.

Mr. Baye vows that the protest will continue as long as Agnes remains in prison “unjustifiably” and cannot be extradited to Liberia.

As a result of his engagement with the British Embassy near Monrovia, Mr. Baye narrates that PACA was informed by the Embassy that the case now lies in the hands of President Weah and his Justice Minister.

He suggests that the British authorities simply want their Liberian counterparts to respond to the inquest sent to Monrovia.

He claims that Madam Taylor is languishing in British cell without any justifiable reason, blaming the situation on alleged ill-advice being given to President Weah.

He argues that the British got interest in Liberia and the British will not sit without reacting if Liberia were to grab a British citizen and hold the person hostage.

“And the president has not reacted. I think he’s been ill – advised, that’s why we are here to get response,” Mr. Baye continues.

He explains further that PACA has attempted using diplomatic means, seeking audience with President Weah through his lieutenants, but there has been no response.By Winston W. Parley

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