-Rev. Francis Kollie
The head of Prison Fellowship Liberia, Rev. Francis Kollie, has cautioned here that violence still remains the greatest threat to Liberia’s stability.
Rev. Kollie said the ongoing drawdown by UNMIL and the handling of security matters to the Government of Liberia does not mean the country is safe enough, noting that every time you listen to the news, you will find out that citizens and the police are in confusion, something which does not depict a peaceful nation.
He it is the police and other security institutions that citizens should run to in times of difficulties or finding redress to problems, but they can’t continue to forcibly apprehend people and yet considered as being capable to steer the affairs of the state. “I think they are not capable enough to handle us after UNMIL departs from this country”, Rev. Kollie said.
He said police brutality against peaceful citizens in any part of the world is something that puts a country’s safety at stake, because people will no longer exhibit trust in the security of that country. The Liberian clergyman stressed that police brutality in the streets and communities and on school campuses is going out of hands on a daily basis, adding that this is something authorities should take into serious consideration before it gets out of hands in the wake of UNMIL departure.
Rev. Kollie stressed that the Prison Fellowship of Liberia is putting measure in place to adequately speak for people whose rights have been violated by the police, and other security apparatus in the country.
He the police and other security agencies are in the habit of sending people to prison by any means without stating why a person is being sent to prison in the absence of a formal charge.
He added children’s rights are also being violated, saying “By taking a child who is a minor around the ages 13, 14 or 15 to prison is wrong and evil. “We Liberians must graduate from such habit by taking children to prison at that very early age.”
Meanwhile, Rev. Francis Kollie has called on the Ministry of Justice to ensure speedy trial for inmates at the Monrovia Central Prison or to allow some of them with minor cases to seek redress at various police stations across the country rather than be thrown in prison indefinitely without trial.
He said the prison fellowship speaks on behalf of prisoners in the country and currently operates in 10 counties.
By Lewis S. Teh -Editing by Jonathan Browne