As investigations are still ongoing to find the hidden hands behind the death of the former public official, Liberty Party (LP) stalwart and award winning human rights activist, Abraham Darius Dillon says the Liberian government is in the constant habit of lying about many things including the recent announcement of the arrival of two forensic investigators in the country to help with the ongoing efforts to find the actual cause of Mr. Greaves’ death.
Mr. Dillon said the government did not bring it any forensic investigators from the United States as announced by Information Minister Eugene Lenn Nagbe.
“The government lied that forensic investigators have arrived in the country. Those investigators were taken from the US Embassy near Monrovia. The government did not send for them. The US Embassy near Monrovia saw the need to help. That’s how those investigators were asked to be a part of the ongoing efforts,” Dillon said.
The LP strongman said this habit on the part of the Liberian government has been a breeding ground for dissent and anger from the citizens. He spoke when he appeared as guest on the Capitol Breakfast Club on Thursday, February 25, 2016.
Commenting on the arrest and jailing of civil rights activist Vandalark Patricks for alleged statement made against President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Mr. Dillon questioned the government’s adherence to the Table Mountain Declaration that requires all governments to decriminalize free speech.
He said the government, under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has one legacy which is the Freedom of Expression, but by arresting people and imprisoning them based on their expression has dented the government's record of respecting freedom of speech and of the press.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate became one of the latest head of states to commit to the core principles of a free press after endorsing World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA)’s Declaration of Table Mountain in Monrovia on 21 July, 2012.
“We are signing the Declaration of Table Mountain in order to underscore our message loud and clear, to advance a free press and freedom of expression, not just in Liberia but the entire continent of Africa,” President Sirleaf said at a signing ceremony attended by 200 people, including diplomats from Nigeria, the United States and Germany.
The Declaration of Table Mountain, which calls for the repeal of criminal defamation and 'insult' laws across the African continent, was adopted at the World Newspaper Congress held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2007, the annual meeting of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
“By signing the Declaration, President Sirleaf is showing her genuine commitment to freedom of the press as a basic human right, as well as an indispensable constituent of democracy in Liberia”, said Roger Parkinson, Senior Ambassador and former president of WAN-IFRA, who attended the signing ceremony on behalf of the organisation.
Mr. Dillon stated that it was Cllr. Winston Tubman, then Standard bearer of the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change who revealed that the November 7, 2011 incident which led to the loss of lives and properties was an assassination attempt. He pointed out that Cllr. Tubman, however, did not make reference to the President.
On the Simeon Freeman saga, the LP stalwart said it is advisable for anyone in the case of the MPC political leader to express fear for his/her life.
He chides the government on the decision to go after Mr. Freeman simply because he expressed fear about a “blacklist” on which he is listed as reported by a local newspaper in Monrovia.
Despite his strong critical views, Dillon strongly believes that the Liberian government is not into the business of eliminating opposition members.