MONROVIA – Opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) general secretary, Advisor Aloysius Toe, and several others were temporarily released from their lawyer by the Liberia National Police (LNP) days after they were reportedly assaulted, tortured and raped by unidentified state security actors in the county Gbarpolu.
The ANC is one of the political parties that make up the Alliance of Oppositional Collaborating Political Parties (CPP). Other parties that are part of the CPP are: the formerly ruling Unity Party (UP), the All Liberian Party (ALP) and the Liberty Party (LP).
It is recalled that Mr. Toe and several others were arrested again at Gold Camp in Grand Cape Mount County and brought back to Bopolu in Gbapolu County on their way back to Monrovia.
The ANC chief clerk and others were taken to Monrovia and later detained at LNP headquarters calculated with espionage.
They had previously gone to the county to support their party’s candidate, Botoe Kanneh, who heads the county’s Senate race after the National Electoral Commission (NEC) confirmed that an influential leader forcibly took four ballot boxes for reasons unknown assigned to the district with code No. 45039 consisting of four polling stations and 2,021 registered voters in Normon Town, Gbarpolu County, on December 8, 2020.
Voting in the city in District No. 3 of Gbarpolu County was suspended on Election Day and postponed to December 15, 2020.
With more than 95 percent of the count so far from the county, independent candidate Botoe Kanneh leads the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate, Rep. Alfred Koiwood of Gbarpolu County No. 1 constituency.
In an interview with reporters shortly after the ANC partisans were released, adviser Kofi Woods revealed that the rights of Mr. Toe and the others were allegedly violated by the government.
He pointed out that the measures taken to assault, torture and detain Mr. Toe and the others for more than 48 hours were in violation of international law, which he failed to disclose.
“We came mainly to represent Mr. Aloysius Toe and others. My clients have been illegally detained in various prisons, and that is our concern. This is a violation of international law and a crime against humanity. The consequences are dire and we will pursue legal action. That is becoming the norm ”.
Cllr. Woods also vowed to pursue other cases of violations of citizens’ rights, including electoral violence in other areas, including missing persons.
He indicated that these cases are being followed up nationally, regionally and internationally.
For his part, CPP Chairman Alexander Cummings claimed that his party’s general secretary and several others had been treated inhumanely by state security actors in Gbarpolu state.
His claims were contained in a statement posted on his Facebook page shortly after his partisans were released.
“I am very happy to have secured the release of Cllr with the help of many. Aloysius Toe, General Secretary, and members of the CPP delegation who were illegally detained for more than five days by state security agencies in Gbarpolu County. The release of the General Secretary and all of our partisan colleagues, whose rights have been trampled and inhumanly treated, from further detention has brought us great relief. “
Mr. Cummings continued: “I would like to thank members of the opposition community, civil society organizations, religious leaders, the press and our supporters as a whole for the immediate condemnation of Cllr’s arrest. Toes and others in dubious circumstances ”.
He claimed that the arrest of Mr. Toe and the others was an “attack on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, the rights guaranteed to all citizens by the Liberian Constitution”.
“Unfortunately, under this administration, this event has increasingly become a new norm that continues to embarrass and shame our country through such actions. We will continue to stand up for the rights and freedom of every Liberian citizen, regardless of political affiliation or social position, and we will examine, at home and abroad, what consequences this may have for those responsible for this lawlessness. “