Liberia: Briefing paper on the situation of human rights defenders

10.09.2014

(Geneva) - Liberia is scheduled to be reviewed at the 22nd session of the Universal Periodic Review in April 2015.

In the absence of a protective legal or policy framework, human rights defenders in Liberia remain vulnerable and are frequently subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, lengthy imprisonment, and even torture. Out-dated libel and defamation laws are used and misused by both State and non-State actors to silence dissent and criminalise the work of defenders. 

(Geneva) - Liberia is scheduled to be reviewed at the 22nd session of the Universal Periodic Review in April 2015.

In the absence of a protective legal or policy framework, human rights defenders in Liberia remain vulnerable and are frequently subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, lengthy imprisonment, and even torture. Out-dated libel and defamation laws are used and misused by both State and non-State actors to silence dissent and criminalise the work of defenders. 

Human rights defenders who work on issues of corporate accountability, including those who work on issues related to the palm oil industry and land grabbing, are particularly vulnerable to defamation, criminalisation and attacks.

Key recommendations that should be made to Liberia at the UPR in 2015 include that the Government should enact and implement specific laws, policies and measures to recognise and protect human rights defenders, repeal out-dated laws on defamation and libel, and strengthen its national human rights institution through the establishment and resourcing of a focal point on human rights defenders.

This Briefing Paper on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Liberia is intended to assist States and other stakeholders to formulate questions and recommendations regarding the protection of human rights defenders during the UPR.

For further information about the Briefing Paper or for any assistance or advice in the formulation of recommendations, please contact ISHR's Clement Voule, on c.voule@ishr.ch.

Photo: UN Photo/Jennifer S Altman

Category:

Region
  • Africa
Topic
  • Corporate accountability
  • Freedom of expression, association and assembly
  • Human rights defenders
Mechanism
  • Universal Periodic Review
Country
  • Liberia