Liberia: National Human Rights Commission Condoles Families of Stampede Victims, Pledges to Aid Police in Uncovering Root Cause of Tragedy

Monrovia — The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) has announced it will collaborate with the Liberia National Police to conduct an independent investigation to find the root cause of the tragedy that led to the death of dozens of citizens and residents at a crusade in New Kru Town.

In a statement issued in Monrovia, the INCHR, through its Chairman, Cllr. Dempster Brown, said it is seriously saddened by the events of January 19, 2022 at the D Tweh Memorial High School Campus in New Kru Town, in which 29 persons lost their lives while dozens more sustained injuries. The Commission expressed condolences to the bereaved family of the victims and urged them to take solace in these difficult times.

Excerpt: "The Commission also commends the Government of Liberia for taking bold steps by lunching an investigation into the situation. The Commission avers that the right to life is a supreme right without which other rights cannot be exercised including right to religion and conscience."

It continued: "The Commission believes that the January 19 events should be a wakeup call to all Liberians including religious institutions and Government to set into motion appropriate means to avert the occurrence of this gruesome development that cause the lives of vulnerable persons, including pregnant women and children."

It pledged to avail itself of any modalities that regulate and ensure that ceremonies of these natures are properly giving serious consideration through appropriate protocols that guarantee right to religion but most importantly the safety and wellbeing of citizens and residents.

The Commission believes that developments of these natures require the full support of the Government and the Church for the victims' family through reasonable compensation leading to their burial.

On Wednesday night, a stampede at the D. Twe Football field in the Borough of New Kru Town, outside Monrovia claimed the lives of at least 29 worshippers, including a pregnant woman. The tragic incident has largely been blamed on a group of thugs comprising of scores of disadvantaged youths who reportedly attacked the worshippers at the main entrance of the field when they were heading home.

President George Weah has since declared a three-day of national mourning and ordered the flag be flown at half-mast.

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