Liberia

On a recent hot Saturday afternoon, tempers flared outside a school building in the village of Madina as organizers tried to work out who could and could not attend the meeting inside between the visiting government delegation and community representatives. The meeting's agenda was clear: the activities of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDLP) and their impact on the surrounding land and its inhabitants. One of the most prominent in a club of new, high-profile investors committed to long-term ...read more

Former Liberian first lady Jewel Howard Taylor has introduced a bill making homosexuality liable to a death sentence. Jewel is a senator and former president Charles Taylor’s ex-wife. Uganda re-tabled a similar controversial anti-gay bill recently. Homosexuality is outlawed in 38 African countries and it can be punishable by death in Mauritania, Sudan, and northern Nigeria. This Global Voices post summarises the reactions from the blogosphere.

Liberia's Independent National Human Rights Commission has said it would from next month begin implementing the recommendations of the defunct Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which included prosecuting key warlords. The Truth Commission had also recommended that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf be barred from holding public office for a period of 30 years, which analysts say would be near-impossible to implement. The sanctions carry financial, political and legal ramifications, sources said.

'LGBT Liberians live in fear, disempowered and daily imperiled. The war for them has not ended. Their lives are defined by danger and violence, persecution, hate speech and threats, discrimination and harassment. They are stigmatized, publicly rejected and almost completely abandoned by government. Their vulnerability affects all areas of their lives – church, school, employers, landlords, media, street mobs, rapists, predators, political actors, opinion leaders, family.'

Hundreds of villagers and town residents of Liberia’s Grand Cape Mount Country have attracted nationwide attention in their bid to recover what they say is land seized from them and turned over to a Malaysian agro-industrial concern. A petition sent to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s office in January by the aggrieved people’s political representatives demanded the return of their land.

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