In an effort to curtail pre-trial detention in Liberia, Serving Humanity for Development and partners have for the second times free five detainees from the Gbarnga Central Prison in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Serving Humanity for Development (SHED) is a rights group that deals with strengthening the rights of prisoners within correctional facilities at a grassroots level in Liberia.
It is currently operating a two-year project funded by the European Union.
Speaking in an interview with The Monrovia Times at the onset of the freeing exercise at the Gbarnga Central prison, an official of Serving Humanity for Development, Attorney Goto Kolubah said they are working with the Gbarnga Central prison and some courts in Bong County in order to fast track cases that have spent longer time on dockets.
Mr. Kolubah stated that there are many individuals who have been placed behind bars for a long period of time but their cases have not been adjudicated.
He told reporters that the five pre-trial detainees who were freed were individuals who spent a long period of time at the Gbarnga central prison.
He said (SHED) will also free some pre-trial detainees at the Gbatala magisterial court.
“You cannot have someone who has not been guilty of a crime living in a cell for more than two to three years, we think it is against their rights and we must stand strong against such acts,” Mr. Kolubah said.
Some of the prisoners, however, thanked Serving Humanity for Development for their humanitarian’s gesture in freeing them from the Gbarnga Central Prison.
According to Refuge Pope and Godknow Sumo they were placed behind bars for fighting and stealing respectively.
They, however, admonished youths of the country to stay away from trouble, describing prison as a bad facility.
Detainees Sumo and Pope said they encountered difficulties while at the prison facility.