The Ministry of Justice has warned officials of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC ahead of its planned Memorial Day service that it has not been granted a permit to put its partisans on the streets on November 7, next month.
At least one person was shot dead and several others wounded when the CDC took to the streets on November 7 2011, ahead of the presidential run-off, which it boycotted.
"...This is not to curtail any right. Permit has not been requested and the ministry has not granted one," deputy justice minister Freddie Taylor told journalists during a Ministry of Information regular press briefing Thursday.
"The SG (Secretary General) came to my office yesterday (Wednesday) when I confronted him about not requesting a permit, he replied that his members will walk peacefully on the street and not to march," Taylor added.
Taylor said the CDC wrote the ministry requesting the holding of a successful Memorial Day service but felt short of seeking a permit to have a street march. He added that the letter which was dated on October 9, 2012 was received on October 19, 2012 and reply to that was done on October 22, 2012.
He said the CDC in its letter, also requested a meeting with the ministry officials and the police authority, which was scheduled for yesterday (Thursday).
Excerpts of the CDC letter reads: "I esteem it a privilege to extent warmest salutation on behalf of the Congress for Democratic Change and wishes to inform you and the government of Liberia that on November 7th, 2012, our noble party will be holding a mass memorial day service in honor of Liberian patriots who lost their lives at the hands of violent brutality unleashed by elements of the Liberia National Police force, on peaceful citizens who were exercising their constitutional rights, on November 7, 2011 at the height of the last Presidential and Legislative election.
The November 7, memorial day is expected to see partisans and sympathizers of the CDC gather at our national headquarters in solemnity. We expect that some of the attendees would be travelling on foot, while others would be travelling by vehicle.
Therefore, it would be necessary for the government of Liberia to be alert and take the appropriate security measure to ensure that law and order exist by respecting the right of our partisans while exercising their fundamental right of free movement, free association, and free assembly.
Furthermore, the CDC invites that Liberia National Police through the Ministry of Justice to regulate the movement of all individuals, on that day, to equally ensure the smooth and orderly use of the public space by all persons in keeping with equal protection of all Liberian citizens.
The CDC respectfully admonish the Ministry of Justice to view CDCians as Liberians who rights must be guaranteed and protected by state security apparatus. In this regard, the CDC humbly requests an urgent joint meeting with the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia National Police to map up a strategy that will ensure the success of our Memorial Day service. We will be anxious and excited to hold a joint press conference with the relevant security agencies to communicate with the public for our Memorial Day program."