IRB – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Autor)
None of the sources consulted by the
Research Directorate mentioned Gbarnga jail between 1989 and late
1997. However, in March 1998 the Catholic Peace and Justice
Commission (JPC), following a tour of Gbarnga prison, described
conditions in Liberian prisons as "deplorable" and "in need of
radical improvement if the lives of those being held in those
facilities are to be saved" (DPA 4 Mar. 1998). The report of the
JPC drew attention to the lack of beds, bedding, toilets and
bathing facilities and made reference to "emaciated" prisoners
complaining of a lack of medical care and food. Following the
release of this report, the International Committee of the Red
Cross and the Liberian Ministry of Justice conducted a tour of the
same prison. An official from the Ministry of Justice also stated
that the prison was in "deplorable" condition, but maintained that
the eleven prisoners being held were not starving (Asia
Intelligence Wire 24 Mar. 1998). Country Reports 1997
states that in December 1997 four persons in the "(Gbarnga) Bong
county detention facility disappeared" (1998, 184) and that two
prisoners had died in this prison in December 1997 either from
starvation (ibid., 185) or "apparently from harsh conditions" (DPA
4 Mar. 1998).
No information on murder, torture, or rape
specific to the Gbarnga prison could be found among the sources
consulted by the Research Directorate. For general information on
Liberia's prisons please see Country Reports
This Response was prepared after
researching publicly accessible information currently available to
the Research Directorate 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. Please see below the
list of additional sources consulted in researching this
Asia Intelligence Wire. 24 March 1998.
"Liberian Daily News Bulletin." (NEXIS)
Country Reports on Human Rights
Practices for 1997. 1998. United States Department of State.
Washington DC: United States Government Printing Office.
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). 4 March
1998. "Rights Group Wants Liberian Prisons Radically Improved."
Additional Sources Consulted
Amnesty International. 20 September
1995. Liberia: A New Peace Agreement - An Opportunity to
Introduce Human Rights Protection. (AI Index: AFR 34/01/95).
London: Amnesty International.
Amnesty International. 1989-1997.
Amnesty International Report 1989-1997. New York: Amnesty
Country Reports on Human Rights
Practices for 1989 -1996. 1990-1997. United States Department
of State. Washington DC: United States Government Printing
Human Rights Watch (HRW). 1988-1998.
Human Rights Watch World Report 1989-1997. New York: Human
Keesing's Record of World
Events [Cambridge]. 1989 to present.
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
(LCHR). 1989-1997. Critique: Review of the Department of
State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for
1989-1997. New York: LCHR.
Resource Centre. Liberia country file.
_____. Liberia: Amnesty International
country file. 1989-1997.
World Encyclopedia of Police Forces
and Penal Systems. 1989. Edited by George Thomas Kurian. New
York: Facts on File Publications.
Electronic sources: IRB Databases,
LEXIS/NEXIS, Internet, REFWORLD, World News Connection (WNC).