Liberia ― Human Rights Council ― Pre-trial Detention ― Sept. 2014
The Advocates for Human Rights, the Liberia Law Society, Inc. (LLS) ,and the Liberia Prison Watch, Inc. (LIPWA) submitted a joint stakeholder report to the U.N. Human Rights Council for Liberia's second Universal Periodic Review.
Pretrial detention in Liberia remains a problem that is devastating in scope. An estimated 83 percent of all detainees in Liberia are in pretrial detention. Pretrial detainees can spend up to four years in prison awaiting trial; some detainees spend more time waiting trial than the maximum sentence for their alleged crimes. The problem of prolonged pretrial detention in Liberia is magnified by condititions of detention in overcrowded, dark, and unsanitarity prisons that violate basic human rights.
During the 2010 Universal Periodic Review, Liberia accepted numerous recommendations related to lengthy pretrial detention. Yet, the nation has taken disappointingly little action on the issue. As many detainees remain unjustly detained without trial, in violation of express Liberian law and Liberia's international obligations, while the "fast track" court system developed in response to the problem has failed due to lack of funding.
To address the serious violations of human rights resulting from prolonged pretrial detention, The Advocates, LLS, and LIPWA recommend that Liberia:
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