Charles Taylor's Security Men Benjamine Yeaten(Middle, In Dark Suit)

Some Of The Human Rights Abuses During The Early Part Of The Charles Taylor Regime

September 7, 1997: The Taylor government security agents opened fire on 7000 unarmed Firestone workers who were peacefully demonstration for their back pay owed them by the Firestone Company. Two persons were reportedly killed, while many others are missing and have not been seen by their relatives. Mr. Tom Woewiyu, the Taylor regime Minister of Labor, described the Firestone workers as “hooligans.” 

 September 21, 1997 : Members of the Liberian National Police force summarily executed Aloysius Kieh, a former employee of the Ministry of Lands and Mines. The police accused Kieh of an armed robbery. Those who knew Kieh said he opposed the decision by theTaylor government Lands and Mines Ministry to give exclusive rights to a little know mining company fromSouth Africa to explore all of Liberian natural resources.

 September 23, 1997 : Enoch Dogolea, the Vice President of theTaylor regime, ordered the public flogging of Mr. Sando Johnson, member of the House of Representative for not moving out of the way when Mr. Dogolea’s convoy entered the grounds of the Capitol.

September 24, 1997 : A dozen police officers, led by theTaylor regime Police Commissioner Joseph Tate, (believed to be a close relative of Mr. Taylor) broke into the offices of the daily newspaper called The Inquirer, manhandled and arrested its editor, Philip Wesseh, for publishing an editorial critical of the police killing of Aloysius Kieh, and other actions of the police during their “crimes sweep” operations. During a radio interview, Commissioner Tate vowed to arrest Wesseh for what he called, “the defending of armed robbers.” Tate was quoted as saying, “if the Inquirer can openly defend armed robbers, then its editors are armed robbers and we’ll go after them.”  

 October 7. 1997 : Members of the Liberia National Police attacked several market women at a market inMonrovia. After the attack, several of women received serious injuries. Mrs. Grace Botchway Kamara and her ten month old baby were reported missing.

 November 10, 1997 : Two men, Nimely Monboe and Nathaniel Monboe disappeared while in police custody. The police failed to account for the men on their court date. Members of the National Police Force arrested both men along with Aloysius Monboe onBushrod Island, a suburb ofMonrovia.

November 26, 1997 : Al Jerome Cheddeh (a talk show host) escaped kidnapping when his would-be kidnappers mistakenly kidnapped and severely beat another man. One Cocoo Dennis, a supporter ofLiberia’s President Charles Taylor, ordered the kidnapping. The attempted kidnap came after Mr. Cheddeh criticized Mr. Taylor during a news program called “Issues” at the press club.

 November 27, 1997 : The Taylor Government Minister of Information, Joseph W. Mulbah, refused to register the New Democrat Newspaper. Official Reason: The paper failed to meet the January registration deadline. Personal Reason: Mulbah accused the paper of being “antagonistic” in the past. It may be recalled the New Democrat, during the war, published a documentary entitled “The Trail of Charles Ghankay Taylor.” The documentary depicted the trial ofLiberia’s current President Charles Taylor for crimes against humanity.

 November 28, 1997 : Two suspects died of starvation while in police custody inGbarnga City, Bong County as they waited to be charge. It has been reported that several suspect are being held in prisons around the country without formally being charge with any crimes, and that suspects are facing severe food shortages in prisons in Gbarnga, Buchanan andMonrovia.

 November 30, 1997: Mr. Samuel Dokie, a former deputy speaker ofLiberia’s Interim Legislature and a member the Unity Party, along with his wife, Janet, sister, Serina, and Cousin Emmanuel were killed y Taylor’s personal security. The Dokies along with their cousin, Voker, were found dead and burnt. Mr. Dokie himself was decapitated police in centralLiberia arrested Paye. That was when he was last seen.

 December 1997 : Melvin Leah died while in police custody. Mr. Leah was arrested for breaking the window of a car belonging to a police commander. Dr. Isaac Moses, Liberia’s Chief Pathologist, said Leah died from respiratory illness.

 December 18, 1997 : Seven journalists of the Inquirer Newspaper were arrested by the Executive Mansion Special Security Services (SSS), and taken to the Mansion, where they were threatened with death by a top official of the SSS for publishing a news article entitled “Somebody Else Missing” a reference to the disappearance of Harry Paye. The SSS claimed Harry T. Paye is alive and well. There is no independent confirmation.

 December 24, 1997 : The abduction of Alexander Redd (a broadcaster) by members of the SSS while returning from the Dokies’ funeral inNimba County. The abductors used a pen knife to ripped off Redds’ clothes, later took him to an isolated rubber farm and brought back to Monrovia, and left at a checkpoint very early in the morning. Redd was later charged with “Criminal Attempt” to commit treason, but that charge was later changed to giving false report to the police.

anuary 6, 1998 : The Heritage Newspaper was banned on the orders of theTaylor government Solicitor general, Theophilus Gould, for publishing an article critical of theTaylor government treatment ECOMOG, the West African Peacekeeping force.

 January 7, 1998 : Maxwell Kaba, theTaylor government Minister of Post and Telecommunications closed down Star Radio, an independent radio station. Official Reason: Not properly registered. Personal Reason: Kaba accused the radio station of putting Liberian newspaper articles on the Internet.

 January 9, 1998 : Two “suspected” armed robbers were killed by the police inMonrovia, and their bodies put on display. One of the suspects is Manner Zakay, a former member of the Armed Forces of Liberia. It was later revealed in a report release by the Justice and Peace Commission that Mr. Zakay was abducted from his home by security men and killed him with his skull broken with a hammer.

 January 14, 1998 : Radio Monrovia, a private owned radio station, was closed down for assigning frequencies to the Star Radio.

January 23, 1998 : Hassan Bility, Editor-in Chief of The Nation Newspaper, was severely beaten and seriously wounded by eight members of a police task force sent by the Police commissioner, Joseph Tate, to escort him to the police headquarters. The police chief was reaction to a story in the paper entitled “Joint Security, ECOMOG Clash.”

March 17, 1998 : Former warlord Roosevelt Johnson accused theTaylor of saturating the security agencies with former members of the NPFL rebel movement.

June 10, 1998 : Joseph Cole, Moses Monjloh, Junior Yourrnie, Augustine Moore, and two others were reported missing following their arrest by the Taylor government security agents at the Roberts International Airport as they were about to leave the country. TheTaylor government claimed that the men were in theGambia, but no independent confirmation as to the whereabouts of the men who were former fighters in Roosevelt Johnson led ULIMO-J faction. (Pan African News)

 June 17, 1998 : Mr. Theophilus Gould, then Solicitor General for theTaylor regime, ordered the arrest of four members of the Liberian Senate, along with four others for what was te4rm as “misapplying vehicles entrusted to them by the National Patriotic Party.” The senators that were arrested were Peter Fineboy, Mohammed Dukuly, Bedell Fahn, and John Gray. (Pan African News). The Liberian Constitution exempts members of Legislature from arrest, detention or prosecution except for treason, felony or breach of the peace when the Legislature is in session.

June 26, 1998 : The United Methodist Human Rights Monitor reported the missing of a mentally ill man after he was picked up and taken to an unknown location by police inMonrovia. The man, Moses Glaydor, is commonly known as “African Hernia” was whisked off in a police car marked SOD 2. Glaydor has been insane for many years, is well known for insulting government officials. (Reuters News).

 June 29, 1998 : The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC), reported threats made by theTaylor regime security agents to arrest and eliminate JPC Executive Director, Kofi Woods, upon his return from abroad. JPC further revealed that its entire staff was put under surveillance by theTaylor regime. According to the rights group, these actions follow statements made by theTaylor regime Minister of information, Mr. Joseph W. Mulbah and Montserrado County Senator Cephas Dugbe. On June 21, Mr. Mulbah termed JPC and its director as antigovernment. Mr. Dugbe described JPC as enemy of the Liberian people. (Star Radio).

 July 2, 1998 : Mr. Varnba Kanneh, former member of the Liberian transitional council accused theTaylor government state security of threatening his life. Kanneh made the allegations following a report quoted by Liberia’s President Charles Taylor implicating Kanneh to a coup plot. He said security men kept surveillance on his residence. (Pan African News)

July 12, 1998 : Mr. Isaac Musa, military advisor toLiberia’s President Charles Taylor, was arrested and detained upon the orders of Mr. Taylor for “disorderly conduct.” Taylor rejected call for Musa to have his day in a civilian court, saying his orders were issued according to the Liberian military code of justice. (star radio).

 August 4, 1998 : Senator Peter Fineboy ofGrand Gedeh County reported that armed men who were sent by the Charles Taylor-led National Patriotic Party to retrieve a vehicle belonging to the party flogged him and members of his family. Fineboy was quoted as saying “the security men beat my wife, children, and old age sick father.” (Pan African News).

 August 11, 1998 : Several Liberian judges, led by Criminal Court Judge William Metzger, accused the Executive branch of government of molestation and interference in judicial matters. The judges said the Executive should be the law enforcer. But they noted the Executive is constantly violating the rights of citizens. Judge Metzger said theTaylor government functionaries were arresting suspect without charge and beyond statutory requirements. (Star Radio).

August 31, 1998 : A Liberian opposition leader, Oscar Quiah, a one time member of the Liberian Transitional Council, claimed some state security men attempted to kill him for being a supporter of Roosevelt Johnson. He said 75 well-armed men of the SSS broke into his residence and almost kill him but was saved by the intervention of members of the West African peacekeeping force, ECOMOG. (Pan African News).

September 14, 1998 : Report accusing ex-generals of former warring factions of forced child labor in Southeastern Liberia was released by two human rights groups, the Justice and Peace Commission and the (Child’s Rights Advocacy Group), FOCUS. According to the report children are being forced to carry loads over 25lbs for five miles. The report also revealed that three out of five children in the Southeastern region ofLiberia have less chance to survive. TheTaylor government denied the report. (Star Radio).

 September 14-19, 1998 : TheTaylor government security forces massacred several Liberians in their attempt to crush a would–be attempted overthrow of the government. Mr. Taylor and his government put the number of deaths between 15 and 60, but relief workers, diplomats, and press reports put the death toll to about 350. Many Liberian eyewitnesses put the number over 1000, including those who were reported missing. (Reuters News).

September 20, 1998 : Two Liberians were killed by members of the Liberian National Police led Joseph Tate, as they entered the gates of the United States Embassy in Monrovia following the September 18-19 fighting. (Star Radio).

 September 22, 1998 : Mombo Kanneh, a journalist working for the Heritage Newspaper inMonrovia was arrested by theTaylor government security forces for what was described as “aiding and abetting” Dr. Vamba Kanneh, his brother who was one of those accused of treason for attempting to overthrow theTaylor government. A former Liberian Legislator, Varfley Dolley was arrested and severely beaten by members of the Liberian National Police. Mr. Dolley was later released after it was learned that his arrest was an error. (Star Radio). suburb).  The Taylor government Defense Ministry denied the report, but it was later revealed that what the Defense Ministry called concern citizens in Firestone arrested Mr. Kpodee in Harbel.  According to news reports he was arrested after being suspected of being a rebel. (Star Radio).

June 30, 1999 : One hundred former rebels, describing themselves as “veterans,” attacked the home of Mr. Commany Wesseh, Executive Director of the Center For Democratic Empowerment, threatened and manhandled his wife and family.  These so-called veterans accused Wesseh of saying the United Nations should not give them resettlement .

Sources (Various Liberian and international news reporting on Liberia)