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Liberia


Response to Information Request Number: LIB99004. RIC
Date: 13 January 1999
Subject: Liberia: Information on whether ethnic Manos, who did not support the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) during the war, are currently at risk of harm or torture by the Taylor government upon returning to Liberia
From: INS Resource Information Center
Keywords:

Liberia / Abuse / Arbitrary arrest / Arbitrary detention / Beatings / Death squads / Detained persons / Discrimination based on ethnic origin / Discrimination based on family status / Displaced persons / Ethnic conflict / Ethnic minorities / Harassment / Intimidation / Killings / Political opposition / Right to security of person / Social inequality / Torture / Well-founded fear of persecution

Query:

Would an individual who is ethnic Mano and who did not support the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) during the war, currently be perceived as a traitor and be at risk of harm or torture by the Taylor government upon return?

Response:

The Mano people suffered imprisonment, torture and killings at the hands of the Doe government after an unsuccessful coup attempt in 1985. Many Mano later joined the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) led by Charles Taylor, which fought to oust the Doe government from power (MRG 1997, 427-428). A representative of Human Rights Watch indicated that the Taylor government is not currently targeting Manos who did not fight for the NPFL during the war, rather the Krahn ethnic group remains most at risk of harm by the Taylor government now (Norwojee 17 Dec. 1998). The NHRM representative indicated that members of all ethnic groups are scrutinized upon return, particularly young men of fighting age that the Taylor government fears could align themselves with opponents of his government (NHRM 10 Dec. 1998).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the RIC within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References:

Minority Rights Group International (MRG). 1997. The World Directory of Minorities. London: Minority Rights Group International.

National Human Rights Monitor (NHRM) Executive Director. 10 December 1998. Personal interview.

Norwojee, Binaifer. Counsel for Human Rights Watch/Africa, New York. 17.

December 1998. Personal interview.
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