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PUL Holds Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum Today

The Press Union of Liberia, (PUL) will today hold a special edition of the Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum.
The forum which begins at 1P.M under the theme: “Addressing the Hurdles To the Establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court and Repealing the Immunity Act: Where Are We? Challenges and Prospects” is being held at the Icampus in Monrovia.
The PUL, being aware of the increasing concerns arising from the citizenry on the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court and how the establishment of these courts will allow perpetrators of these hideous crimes against humanity, account for their acts, and face the full weight of the law as a panacea to easing Liberia’s wounds as a result of the brutal civil conflict that ravaged the country.
“The Forum therefore seeks to extract the perspectives of key policymakers and state actors on the status of ongoing efforts, progress, approaches and methodologies aimed at ensuring the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia,” a PUL’s release stated.
Representative Richard Nagbe Koon of District 11 Montserrado County and the Chairperson of the Law Reform Commission of Liberia, Boakai Kanneh, will both serve as presenters and panelists.
It can be recalled that the 51st Legislature, during the administration of ex-Liberian President, Charles Ghankay Taylor, enacted an act which grants amnesty to all persons associated with Liberia’s civil war beginning December 1989 to August 2003.
The Act, entitled “An Act to Grant Immunity from Both Civil and Criminal Proceedings Against All Persons within the Jurisdiction of the Republic of Liberia From Acts or Crimes Committed During the Civil War From December 1989 to August 2003,” was published on August 8, 2003 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was not repealed before the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
Additionally, the Liberian Senate in recent months recommended the establishment of a Transitional Justice Commission as opposed to the establishment of a War Crimes Court.
The Senate’s decision was in response to a request from the Executive seeking advice on the implementation of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that calls for the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia; recommending instead, among others, a Transitional Justice Commission.
As part of the arrangement, the Senate’s leadership submitted a three-page document to Plenary, among others, advising the Executive Branch to constitute a Transitional Justice Commission to determine why the TRC recommendations have not been timely and fully implemented; whether the Commission fully complied with its mandates, such as the face-to-face meeting between perpetrators of crimes and other offenses, and the respective victims.
The TRC recommended prosecution for key actors, including warlords from the country’s protracted civil crises and in September 2019, over 50 members of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature signed a resolution for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court (WECC) in Liberia.

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