Solidarity Group to Petition U.S Embassy, Solicits Over 2M Signature to Free Former Pres. Taylor

A solidarity group, called the Friends of Taylor has begun soliciting over Two Million signatures from Liberians to present a petition for former President Charles Taylor to be freed from international prison.

Former President Taylor is currently serving a 50-year sentence in a United Kingdom Prison for committing war crimes in Sierra Leone.

The group which has been in existence for the past four years, according to its Chairman, David Plator, is advocating for the freedom of former President Taylor.

Plator is quoted as saying that the return of the former Liberian leader, who left the country on August 11, 2003 to pave the way for peace in Liberia, will mark a milestone achievement for the country and its people; thereby admonishing Citizens to take ownership of the Process.

The signing ceremony is currently taking place at residence of former President Taylor in Congo Town. According to the Chairman, the exercise will run for two month in Monrovia.

Our reporter who covers the launching program observed that the signing is dominated by young people, some of whom are minutes sellers, Motorcyclists, Tricycles and Students.       

Also speaking, Annie Yeanay, Ways and Means Chair of the Friends of Taylor said “Taylor liberated the people of Nimba during the dark days of the country, and as such; Nimbaians are prepared to give their unflinching support to the former Liberian President.”

Madam Yeanay, who served as a former Lawmaker during the regime of the National Patriotic Party, added that she is optimistic that the former President will return to Liberia in 2023.

She argues that there are former leaders of other Countries who committed atrocities but were were pardoned, and as such a similar decision needs to be taken to release the former head of state from prison.

For their part, two former fighters, Stanley Gateway and Jackson McGill former Aid of Taylor’s brother, Adolphus Taylor, described the founder of the National Patriotic Party as a brave and relentless leader whose leadership style was worth emanating for a better Liberia.

Both Gateway and McGill recounted the memory they shared over the years with President Taylor before his departure.

However, the Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia has strongly reacted to the group of Liberians soliciting over 10,000 signatures purposely to petition the international community to grant former Liberian President Charles Taylor clemency.

Addressing a press conference in Monrovia, the platforms Secretary General, Adama Demposter, described the motive by some Liberians to seek the release of Mr. Taylor as sadden and unfortunate.

The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy of Liberia Secretary General said the launching of such a campaign at the time when the international community is working behind the scene to prosecute those war criminals parading the corridors of power and wealth is an indication that some Liberians are not serious minded people.

By: Emmanuel Toe

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