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INCHR joins Decoration Days observance

By Jonathan Grigsby

(mylbsonline/Liberia)-The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) on Decoration Daylaid several wreaths on the graves of some past Presidents of Liberia.

The INCHR laid the wreaths on the graves of the nation’s past leaders at memorial and massacre sites in two of Liberia’s fifteen counties, including Montserrado.

Wednesday 13th March, 2013, the Commission laid several wreaths on the graves of some past Presidents at various massacre and memorial sites.

The laying of the wreaths by the INCHR was part of the entity’s Memorial and Reconciliation mandate in commemorating Liberia’s Decoration Day, initiated two years ago by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

The Memorial and Reconciliation Initiative of the INCHR is some of the recommendations from the dissolved Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The wreaths were laid at the grave sites of Presidents William R. Tolbert, William V. S. Tubman Daniel B. Warner, Samuel Kanyan Doe, William D. Coleman and the Monument of Joseph Jenkins Roberts in Central Monrovia, Caldwell and Careysburg respectively in Montserrado County.

Slain President, William R. Tolbert, grave site at the Center Cemetery in Monrovia has the inscriptions of several of his officials killed by firing square.

The inscriptions include the names of Cyril Bright, C. Cecil Dennis, Richard Henries, Charles D. B. King, Franklin Neal, Clarence Parker, James A. A. Pierre, John W. F. Stewart, Frank E. Tolbert and Reginald Townsend.

The Commission laid wreaths at three of the many massacre sites across Liberia, including Cowfield and Duport Road in Paynesville, the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Monrovia, Montserrado County, and Carter Camp in Harbel, Margibi County. 

At the Duport site, the fifteen counties names were spelled out, revealing that the names of those buried there were from the 15-sub political divisions of Liberia.   

“The wreath lying at the various sites in observance of Decoration Day is the mandate of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights.

The Commissioner of the INCHR, Attorney Macdilla Howard, said: “It was geared at fostering genuine reconciliation among Liberians who lost their relatives during the country’s civil war.”

According to Attorney Howard, the Commission, along with the Liberia Massacre Survivors Association, is working out plans to identity the various massacre sites throughout country to have the initiative extended to other counties.

In a related development, INCHR Chairman, Cllr. Leroy Urey, said: “The Commission is yet to recommend prosecution of individuals who allegedly committed crimes against humanity.”

“This is due to people not presenting to the entity facts on individuals who are allegedly accused of committing heinous crimes,” Cllr. Urey said.

“We can only recommend to the appropriate court for prosecution individuals who allegedly committed crime against humanity once it has the real facts,” the Chairman of the Commission said.

He added: “Without facts, the Independent National Commission on Human Rights can not recommend individuals for prosecution on hear-say. “

Meanwhile, the INCHR Chairman is assuring Liberians that the Commission will implement the dissolved Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations.

The task of implementing the TRC’s recommendations falls in line with the Independent National Commission on Human Right’s mandate. 


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