Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday, December 22, 2016 granted Executive Clemency to 34 inmates of the Monrovia Central Prison as part of her Pre-Christmas and New Year activities. Traditionally, the Liberian leader uses her discretion to grant pardon to grant Executive Clemency.
"Go in peace, stay on the right path and be law-abiding citizens and keep strong during this festive season. I urge you never to again get involved with what led you to prison", President Sirleaf told the freed inmates” – President Sirleaf intimated.
According to an Executive release, the Liberian leader granted Executive Clemency to some thirty four (34) inmates from prisons around the country including the Monrovia Central Prison as well as prisons in Grand Bassa, Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Bomi, Lofa, Grand Cape Mount and Margibi counties.
The freed prisoners were charged for different crimes, ranging from “Theft of Property, Simple assault and Drug related Offenses”.
However, President Sirleaf was quick to caution those released to be mindful of not getting themselves into the same problems that led their detention instead, they should stay out of trouble, find a way to obtain training to qualify themselves in order to find a job to enable them gain employments and be very good citizens.
President Sirleaf was met upon arrival by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia, Cllr. Cllr. Fredrick Cherue, Assistant Minister for Correction Assistant Minister of Corrections Hilary Siakor-Sirleaf, the Superintendent of the Monrovia Central Prison, among others.
She was taken on a guided tour of the Monrovia Central Prison following briefings by Prison officials and the Minister of Justice. Some areas toured include the Computer Lap, Volleyball Court, Female Cell, the Holding Room, Bakery, Tailoring department, Shoe Shine Boys shop among others and listened to the personal stories of some of the prisoners.
The Monrovia Central Prison is currently holding some 900 prisoners charged with serious crimes such as rape, murder, armed, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, criminal facilitation, among others.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf earlier visited and identified with the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital where the Liberian leader was met on arrival by the Administrator of the hospital Dr. Winnie-Mae Scott-McDonald and other members of staff as well as doctors and nurses.
In a brief comment, Dr. Winnie-Mae Scott-McDonald said, because of the sorrowful nature of some of the patients - every Christmas season, they often organize themselves joyously and engaged in playing religious music, singing and dancing with patients to make them feel happy.
She noted: “Besides the President often visits here every Christmas and July 26 celebration to share with patients at this hospital to make them feel happy.” She thanked President Sirleaf for the visit, noting “It was indeed a rewarding visit.”