Liberia Human Rights Campaign, or LHRC, a premier Liberian human rights movement based in the United States of America, and its national and international partners and supporters, have learned with great disdain and with an outright condemnation of an anti-human rights group who is reportedly issuing threats against Mr. Hassan Bility, a Liberian human rights activist and executive director for Global Justice Research Project. The group is said to be using a fundraising mechanism under the name “National Mandingo Defense Funds” with members in the United States and in Liberia.
The group is said to be led by Mr. Nvasekie Konneh and Mr.Layee Swaray. Both Konneh and Swaray are residents of the United States even though Konneh who lives in Philadelphia goes in and out of the US, while Layee Swaray lives in Minnesota. The group was formerly headed by Mr. Nvasekie Konneh, however, is currently headed Mr. Layee Swaray. The group whose goals are to raise funds to support of anti-human rights activities and elements, especially, war criminals, and at the same time to intimidate pro human rights activists, especially, Mr. Hassan Bility.
Using the National Mandingo Defense Funds, the group has raised funds to support war criminals like Mohammed Jabbated who was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison in the United States by a US federal district court in Philadelphia, PA, and Mr. Alieu Kosiah, who was arrested in Switzerland for war crimes and now awaiting trial. Both Jabbeteh and Kosiah are members of the Alhaji Kromah-led notorious rebel group ULIMO-K.
The group along with the Federation of Liberian Mandingo Organizations in The USA or FELMUSA, with a chapter in Philadelphia, PA, has reportedly raised funds within the Mandingo community in the US and Liberia through the spread of mis-information that only members of the Liberian Mandingo tribe are being targeted for war crimes prosecution and blamed Hassan Bility for aiding and abetting the prosecution of members of the Mandingo tribe. The group, through the National Mandingo Defense Funds, has raised over US$5000 in support of their activities.
This is not the first time Mr. Bility’s name has been used as blame in the ongoing arrests of Liberian war criminals abroad. It may record, according to story published by Frontpage Africa newspaper, the sister of Agnes Reeves Taylor, former wife of Liberian warlord and ruler of Liberia, blamed Hassan Bility for being responsible for the arrest of her sister Agnes by English authorities for war crimes.
While Liberia Human Rights Campaign, its supporters and all its partners, support any individual(s) to organize and raise funds for a good cause for societal benefit, viewed the ongoing threats against Mr. Bility as a form of intimidation against the larger human rights community, including all peace-loving Liberians. If these threats, through mis-information campaign were to materialize into any harm to the physical person of Mr. Hassan Bility, or even death, every single member of this group and those who are contributing to the funds and other source of support will be held responsible.
Even though, LHRC feels this group is irrelevant to the ongoing campaign to bring all perpetrators to account for their wickedness, and the steam the issue of war crimes court in Liberia is gathering every single act or word by any member of this group, no matter, how miniscule, will be met with the full force of the law and the wrath of all peace-loving Liberians.
Signed: Patrick Nimely-Sie Tuon
Liberia Human Rights Campaign