President Sirleaf Visits Monrovia Central Prison

Thursday, 21st December 2006
A pregnant inmate explains their plight to President Sirleaf at the Monrovia Central Prison.
A pregnant inmate explains their plight to President Sirleaf at the Monrovia Central Prison.
Photo Credit: Adama B. Thompson, Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - Several female prisoners from the Monrovia Central Prison stand to benefit from a Presidential pardon in time for the Christmas holidays. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Thursday, instructed Justice Minister, Frances Johnson-Morris and Authorities of the Central Prison, to review the cases of all female inmates and set free, in time for the Christmas holidays, all those who have committed minor offenses.
The female inmates, who number 16, informed the President that they were being held for offenses ranging from aggravated assault to theft of property as well as domestic disputes.

The President also visited male inmates of the Monrovia Central Prison, who complained that they have been held in custody for an unspecified period. The Liberian leader, visibly moved by the conditions of the prisoners, urged the Justice Ministry and Prison authorities to speed up the cases of inmates to give them their day in court.  

The Liberian Leader also visited a cell in which she was imprisoned in 1985 as an opposition leader and later presented assorted food items, including twenty-five bags of rice with five cartoons of frozen chicken to prison authorities, to help feed the prisoners during the Christmas Holidays.

The President also directed the temporary release from detention of an elderly woman to seek medical attention. The woman has been accused of murder.

President Johnson Sirleaf has, meanwhile, warned that any Correction officer found manhandling prisoners would be dealt with in keeping with the law.  The President noted that prisoners, too, have rights under our laws; and maintained that those rights must be respected at all times.  The President was responding to a complaint of maltreatment by Prison Authorities.