Human Rights Committee
123 rd session
Summary record of the 3500th meeting*
Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Monday, 9 July 2018, at 3 p.m.
Chair:Mr. Politi (Vice-Chair)
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant (continued)
Initial report of Liberia
Mr. Politi (Vice-Chair) took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant (continued)
Initial report of Liberia (CCPR/C/LBR/1; CCPR/C/LBR/Q/1)
At the invitation of the Chair, the delegation of Liberia took places at the Committee table.
Ms. Cassell (Liberia), introducing her country’s initial report (CCPR/C/LBR/1), said that 2018 marked a significant milestone for Liberia. Fourteen years after it had begun, the United Nations Mission in Liberia had come to a close. The end of the Mission had coincided with a constitutional transfer of power to the Government of President George Manneh Weah. The new Government, which had taken power little more than six months earlier, was the first Liberian Government to exercise full sovereign security and constitutional authority in nearly thirty years.
Despite facing a number of major challenges, the Government was making every effort to enact the reforms that would make it possible to achieve lasting peace, ensure a more vibrant justice system, consolidate the rule of law and protect the rights of all. Its commitment to its international obligations was unwavering. In that connection, the Government was of the view that it was necessary to give effect to recommendations that the Liberian Constitution should be amended to repeal provisions that restricted citizenship to Negroes or persons of Negro descent, limited dual citizenship and allowed only Liberian citizens to own land.
Unprecedented progress had been made towards the protection of freedom of speech and expression. In late May 2018, for example, the President had submitted to the country’s lawmakers a bill that would repeal a number of sections of the Penal Law, thereby creating a freer and more dynamic media environment.
Other evidence of the Government’s commitment to addressing abuses and promoting awareness of human rights included its record of holding no political prisoners and never sanctioning the execution of any opposition political figures. In fact, the Government was aware that having the death penalty on its books had become a liability. Efforts were made to protect the rights of women, children and other vulnerable persons. In February 2018, for example, a police officer in Bong County had been found guilty and sentenced to prison for having raped a child who had sought protection at a police station.
Administering the country’s correctional facilities was a considerable challenge, not least because of the meagre resources available to the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation, but prison rolls could be consulted by the public, and independent monitoring of prison conditions by local and international human rights organizations, diplomatic personnel and the media was permitted. The Independent National Commission on Human Rights, for example, enjoyed unhindered access to all the country’s prison facilities. A civilian complaints review board had been established to ensure that the country’s law enforcement institutions were accountable to the public and to improve democratic oversight. As a result of funding constraints, however, the secretariat that would be responsible for the board’s day-to-day operations had not yet been put in place.
In its efforts to help Liberia fulfil its international obligations, the Ministry of Justice, and its Human Rights Protection Division in particular, received support from a number of development partners. The National Human Rights Action Plan, which contained a number of key objectives, had been launched in 2013. The Plan’s Steering Committee, which met regularly, was co-chaired by the Minister of Justice and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In addition, the Ministry of Justice, in a bid to combat rampant violence against women and children, particularly in the aftermath of war, administered a sexual and gender-based violence unit. It also had a specialized programme on child justice, and in 2016 the Ministry’s Child Justice Section had taken a number of actions, including monitoring orphanages, prisons and police depots, to assist children in conflict with the law and divert them from the formal criminal justice system. The Section also provided support to witnesses and victims or survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and had worked with partners to assist child victims allegedly trafficked from neighbouring Guinea.
The fundamental rights of the people of Liberia had been recognized in the Constitution of 1847 and in the Constitution of 1986. Liberia, the first African republic, remained committed to the protection and promotion of the human rights of its people. That commitment included the determination to rely on both sustained education and criminal penalties to combat deep-rooted practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM).
Ms. Waterval, welcoming the submission, albeit late, of the State party’s replies to the list of issues in relation to its initial report, said that Liberia’s constitutional framework prompted a number of questions and concerns. The Committee was concerned, for instance, that under customary law the minimum age for marriage was 16 years and polygamy was permitted. It would be interesting to know what measures would be taken to ensure that proposition 24, which called for Liberia to become a Christian nation, was compatible with the Covenant. Similarly, she wished to know what measures, if any, had been taken to repeal the provisions in the Revised Rules and Regulations Governing the Hinterland of Liberia that were incompatible with the Covenant. In addition, she asked whether the State party intended to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Covenant and said that she would welcome further information on the status of the proposed national body on treaty obligations, including any resources allocated.
She would also welcome more information on the Independent National Commission on Human Rights. In particular, she wondered whether the Chair of the Commission was one of its seven members, whether the Commission currently had only an acting Chair and, if so, when a permanent Chair would be appointed. The delegation should also indicate how the Commission maintained its autonomy despite being underfunded and what measures were taken to ensure that it operated in full compliance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles) and was in a position to fulfil its mandate. An indication of the number and type of complaints received by the Commission, and how those complaints were resolved, would likewise be welcome.
It would be interesting to learn more about the discrimination faced by persons with albinism. In a similar vein, she asked whether persons with HIV/AIDS and survivors of Ebola virus disease had access to medical, social and educational facilities on an equal footing with others. An update on the availability of mental health services would be welcome, as would an indication of the measures that had been taken to prevent discrimination against older persons. In addition, the delegation should describe the measures that were being taken to combat and prevent discrimination against foreign nationals, including efforts to repeal article 24 (b) of the Constitution, and explain how article 27 (b) was consistent with the Covenant.
In connection with sexual violence against women and girls, she asked whether the State party could provide information on its efforts to ensure effective enforcement of the Rape Law of 2005 and address impunity for sexual violence in all parts of the country, including any measures to: encourage victims of sexual violence to report such crimes; strengthen law enforcement and prosecutorial capacity to respond appropriately to complaints of sexual violence; and provide support to victims of sexual violence. The delegation should also provide information on the activities and impact of Criminal Court “E”, established for the prosecution of cases of sexual and gender-based violence, the sufficiency of its mandate, budget and human resources, and any measures taken to strengthen and replicate that court. The number of complaints of rape and other acts of sexual violence received in the previous five years, investigations effectively carried out, prosecutions and convictions secured, the nature of the sentences imposed and the reparations granted to victims, including with respect to acts committed during the conflict, should also be indicated. In addition, it would be interesting to know what steps were being taken to overcome the many sociocultural and institutional obstacles to ensuring that reporting rape led to prosecution.
She welcomed the update on the status of the domestic violence bill submitted to lawmakers in January 2016. In view of information indicating that the police responded inadequately to reports of domestic violence, however, she wished to know why it was taking so long for the bill to be made law, whether the Executive Order on Domestic Violence issued by the previous President was still in force and what other measures were in place to combat domestic violence, including marital rape, pending the adoption of the bill. She also wished to know how broadly domestic violence was defined in the bill, what training had been provided to prepare law enforcement, health-care and judicial personnel to respond effectively to domestic violence and whether there were any support services for the victims of such violence. In addition, she asked whether victims could benefit from comprehensive orders for both emergency and long-term protection.
She would welcome information on the annual level of teenage pregnancy, the rate of maternal mortality resulting from unsafe abortions and measures taken to address those phenomena. In the light of section 16 (3) of the Penal Law, she would also appreciate information regarding the number of official abortions and estimated clandestine abortions performed annually in Liberia. The delegation should elaborate on the requirement that two physicians must authorize a voluntary termination of pregnancy and indicate whether a denial could be effectively challenged. Lastly, she would welcome an indication of the efforts that had been made to raise awareness in connection with reproductive health, including to combat the stigmatization of the voluntary termination of pregnancy, and the steps that had been taken to ensure that men, women, boys and girls in all regions of the country had access to contraceptives and sexual and reproductive health education and services.
Mr. Shany said that he would welcome an update on the progress made by the Government in implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Specifically, he wondered whether there had been any progress on ensuring accountability for the most serious human rights violations and establishing, as recommended, an extraordinary criminal tribunal for Liberia. He wished to know whether the Government would be establishing a new body to draw up a road map for justice.
Further details of the extent to which the Palava Hut process was considered part of the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations would be welcome. It was unclear whether the Independent National Commission on Human Rights had the power and capacity to supervise the implementation of those recommendations. He would also welcome information on the progress made with regard to the construction of memorial sites at mass grave locations. He would be interested to learn whether the new Government planned to revisit the issue of reparations.
The Committee regretted the failure of the State party to provide timely notification to the Secretary-General of the derogations applied during the state of emergency declared in 2014. In the light of the previous President’s expression of regret about several of the measures taken, he would like to hear the new Government’s views on whether the derogations applied had been necessary, proportionate and lawful.
He would appreciate information from the delegation on why the five soldiers who had shot at protestors in the 20 April 2014 protest had received disciplinary sanctions instead of criminal sentences. He wondered whether reparations had been paid to the victims. As the Independent National Commission on Human Rights had suggested that the life of the protestor, Shaki Kamara, could have been saved if he had received treatment in a timely manner, the State party should clarify whether that aspect of the incident had been investigated.
With respect to paragraph 5 of the list of issues, he wished to know why the definition of terrorism provided under section 14.54 of the Penal Law of Liberia was so broad, and why, unlike the definitions in most States, it did not include a reference to the political context of the acts. It was of concern that hijacking was a capital offence regardless of whether death occurred, as the Committee’s position was that the death penalty should never be mandatory. Likewise, it was problematic that attempts to cause bodily injury could legally be classed as terrorism. He asked whether there had been any prosecutions for terrorism since 2008, and whether the somewhat strange case of Henry Costa had been handled as a terrorist incident.
As the State party had frankly acknowledged in its initial report that Liberian women remained marginalized, he wondered why it had not passed the Affirmative Action Bill, which aimed to increase female representation in the National Legislature. He wondered whether the Government was taking any measures to increase the representation of women at local government level and in the lower courts, where only 12.5 per cent of women were judges. He would welcome information on why the target of 30 per cent gender representation in candidate lists had not been met by almost any party in the last election. Lastly, he was concerned about the status of women in customary settings and would appreciate information on what was being done to facilitate greater access to justice for rural women, who faced barriers relating to costs, literacy, travel and customary norms.
Mr. Ben Achour said that the State had a role to play in informing the public that sexual orientation and gender identity had nothing to do with social deviance or hostility to societal norms. Indeed, every State had a duty to institute educational programmes and support the work of civil society organizations in that regard. According to reports received from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), transgender persons in the State party were commonly subjected to violent attacks. Likewise, homophobia in the name of religion and custom was widespread. Legal obstacles to the dissemination of a culture of tolerance persisted; the Transgender Network of Liberia had not been allowed to register as an organization. It was puzzling that the Penal Law criminalized consensual adult homosexual relations, in violation of the Covenant. He asked whether the Government planned to repeal that provision. He would like to know what measures the State party was taking to eliminate threats and violence against homosexual individuals, including by raising awareness among law enforcement officers, and how it planned to tackle the issue of religious fundamentalism. He would welcome information on how the Government planned to ensure that attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons were investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.
The fact that only a father could transmit his nationality to his children when they were born abroad was an example of gender inequality. He asked whether the Government was planning to put an end to that discriminatory practice by granting mothers the same rights as fathers. Customary law, which was recognized by the Liberian legal system, enshrined all sorts of inequalities that seemed to violate article 11 of the Constitution. He wished to know how the Government intended to ensure greater gender equality, and what it was doing to eliminate exploitation of and violence against women, issues that had been highlighted in the Report of the Independent Expert on Technical Cooperation and Advisory Services in Liberia.
Despite the amendment to the rape law passed in 2006, rape remained one of the most common crimes in Liberia. One of the problems was that cases could be settled out of court, a process that violated women’s rights. He asked whether the Government was planning to put an end to that practice. Lastly, he would welcome information on how the Equal Rights of Customary Marriage Law of 1998 ensured that women enjoyed equal rights, given that customary law allowed for men to have up to four wives.
Mr. Heyns said that the Committee was concerned that ritualistic killing had a disproportionate impact on women. He would welcome further information on the activities of secret societies, particularly those known as Sande and Poro. He wished to know to what extent secret societies were involved in witchcraft-related killings.
He asked the delegation to confirm the number of women that had undergone FGM in Liberia. According to statistics received by the Committee, 58 per cent of women had been subject to the practice. He was aware that the Government had attempted to address the issue from the perspective of criminal law and would welcome an update on the Government’s efforts to criminalize the practice.
The meeting was suspended at 4.10 p.m. and resumed at 4.35 p.m.
Ms. Cassell (Liberia) said that the Independent National Commission on Human Rights was responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s recommendations by various institutions and Government agencies. Through its reconciliation programmes, the Commission had organized the Palava Hut discussions and constructed the first memorial on the Duport road massacre site in honour of victims of the civil war. Using funding from the Government, it was currently constructing another memorial at the Maher River massacre site in Bomi County. The Commission had prepared two major reports on the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s recommendations. It had also conducted four ethnographic forums in the counties of Bomi, Grand Gedeh, Bong, and Montserrado, in order to develop the Palava Hut guidelines.
The delegation recognized that the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee had received a good deal of attention from the international community. The new Government had been focusing on peacebuilding and national reconciliation, and citizens had been demonstrating and signing petitions calling for legal action on the issues raised. The new President had been taking time to assess the facts in order to better address the needs of the people. Although the Government had been accused of being silent, it was, in fact, preparing to take action at the legislative and executive levels, and establishing a working relationship with international organizations. An open statement on the matter would be issued in due course.
Mr. Mulbah (Liberia) said that the Government had begun work, through the Law Reform Commission, on harmonizing its legislation on customary and statutory marriage with a view to establishing a standard minimum legal age for marriage and to ensuring that women married under customary law enjoyed the same rights as women engaged in statutory marriage.
Proposition 24 had not been endorsed by the President of Liberia or the National Legislature and would not find its way into law. Of the 25 propositions that had been put forward in the final report of the Constitutional Review Committee, only 7 had been put to popular referendums. Proposition 24 had not been one of them.
Liberia had not ratified the Optional Protocol to the Covenant, but the Ministry of Justice and the Independent National Commission on Human Rights heard and investigated complaints from persons who believed they had suffered violations of their human rights. If there was reason to believe that a complaint had merit, it was brought before the courts. The chairperson of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights would soon be appointed by the President of Liberia from a list of vetted candidates. The process had been delayed by the change in Government. Despite a lack of internal resources, which had led to the systemic underfunding of national institutions, the Government had made helping the Commission secure resources a priority.
Reports of the marginalization of albinos by the police had been investigated. Law enforcement officers found to have been involved had been made to undergo training in how to handle complaints made by albinos and other minority groups. Moreover, the Government had conducted a number of public awareness campaigns on the importance of respecting the equality of all citizens, including in hospitals, and much work had been done to end the stigmatization of those who worked in Ebola treatment facilities.
The fact that the legal definition of terrorism did not take social, political or religious motivations into consideration was inconsequential. The law was in place to act as a deterrent, which was why committing terrorist acts that resulted in death was a capital offence. However, although the death sentence had been handed down on a number of occasions, no executions had taken place for many years. No charges of terrorist offences had been brought to trial since the introduction of counter-terrorism legislation. The prosecution had decided to drop the charges of terrorist offences brought against Henry Costa by the police.
The President had made a commitment to extending the application period of Executive Order No. 92, under which all forms of domestic violence against women and children, including FGM, were prohibited, until appropriate domestic violence legislation had been formulated. Some accusations of sexual violence were settled between victims and perpetrators out of court, but never to the knowledge of the Prosecution Department, which conducted criminal investigations into such settlements whenever they were reported. The Government had conducted several public awareness campaigns to encourage the victims of sexual violence to report their aggressors to the police so that they could be prosecuted. Although it might seem to be the case that Criminal Court “E” was doing little to prosecute the perpetrators of sexual violence, due account should be taken of the fact that outdated technology, such as typewriters, was still used to record testimonies in the Liberian courts owing to a lack of resources, which had led to lengthy proceedings. The Ministry of Justice had taken steps to encourage the use of new technologies in the courts to expedite proceedings, including teaching older court clerks how to use computers and recruiting younger court clerks with information technology skills.
It was difficult to obtain figures relating to the prevalence of abortion in Liberia, because the voluntary termination of pregnancy, when not authorized by a medical practitioner, was a criminal offence and therefore went unreported unless it was brought to the attention of the authorities by a third party. Nevertheless, available figures showed that the level of unauthorized abortion was very high. The Government had therefore enhanced its efforts to educate the public regarding family planning and the use of contraception, with a view to reducing the prevalence of risky abortions. However, it lacked the necessary resources to fund its educational programmes. Assistance from international partners, which he hoped would continue, had been useful in securing the necessary funding for such programmes.
Mr. Togbah (Liberia) said that the Affirmative Action Bill was still the subject of debate in the National Legislature and would soon be submitted for public consultation. The autonomy of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights was enshrined in the legislative act by which the Commission had been created. It did not report directly to the Government but rather published independent reports and recommendations. On the recommendation of the Commission, the Government had offered reparations to the family of Shaki Kamara and taken action against the members of the police and armed forces involved in that case.
Ms. Dorliae (Liberia) said that some cultural and religious beliefs had been codified in law, which had resulted in the criminalization of consensual sexual activity between adults of the same sex. Those beliefs were deeply rooted in Liberian society and it would take time and effort to change them. In the light of allegations of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons by the police, the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the Independent National Commission on Human Rights, had begun to train police officers to be more tolerant. Mandatory training to that effect would soon be included in the curricula of police training academies. No one had been prosecuted on the charge of engaging in consensual same-sex sexual activity. Nevertheless, the Government recognized its obligation to protect all persons in Liberia and agreed that more needed to be done to educate the public on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.
With regard to the registration of NGOs in the Liberia Business Registry, the applicable legislation outlawed discrimination against any entity that met the legal requirements for registration, and complaints filed with the Ministry of Justice were investigated.
Article 28 of the Constitution stipulated that any person, at least one of whose parents was a Liberian at the time of his or her birth, was recognized as a Liberian citizen. However, that right was limited by the Alien and Nationality Law. As the Constitution was the basic law of the land, the Law Reform Commission had been mandated to identify discrepancies and submit recommendations for harmonization. The Liberia Immigration Service had drafted an amendment to the Alien and Nationality Law, pursuant to which the Liberian citizenship of children would be recognized if either of their parents was Liberian. The draft would be submitted to the National Legislature in due course.
Ms. Jackollie (Liberia) said that the Sande and Poro societies formed part of traditional Liberian culture, and people still relied on such societies for the promotion of stability in the country. Witchcraft and ritualistic killings were a separate phenomenon. Some people believed that they acquired supernatural power by extracting a person’s body parts. Such practices were illegal and the perpetrators were prosecuted.
FGM was a serious challenge since it was deeply rooted in customary practices. Some legislators had opposed its inclusion in the Domestic Violence Act because it did not take place in the home. Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had issued Executive Order 92 prohibiting FGM for females under 18 years of age and requiring the consent of those over 18 years. The current President had undertaken to issue an additional executive order if necessary. The Human Rights Action Plan Steering Committee had drafted legislation that would outlaw domestic violence against all women, irrespective of age. It was currently being validated by stakeholders and would be submitted to the National Legislature as soon as possible.
Mr. Mulbah (Liberia) said that when questions had been raised by the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, the authorities had requested information from various civil society groups and the Liberia Albino Society. Persons with albinism were not subjected to discrimination by the country’s legislation or State-sponsored practices. He drew attention in that connection to the Government’s supportive measures described in the State party’s replies to the list of issues.
Ms. Waterval said that the Independent National Commission on Human Rights had reported that one Commissioner had been appointed by the former President in contravention of the 2005 Act establishing the Commission and the Paris Principles.
She reiterated her request for information on the situation of older persons, measures to combat discrimination against foreign nationals, and measures to support persons with mental disabilities, given that there was just one registered psychiatrist in the State party.
Mr. Shany said that the President’s statement on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission should address the issues of accountability, reparations and the removal from office of persons involved in the atrocities. While the reparations offered to the family of Shaki Kamara were welcome, the delegation should provide information regarding the failure to provide him with timely medical treatment.
Given the need for specific and detailed definitions of criminal offences, the definition of terrorism should be revised, especially since it combined ordinary crimes with the crime of terrorism.
The financial prerequisites for registering as a candidate in the State party’s elections were a cause of concern. Candidates for both the House of Representatives and the Senate were allegedly required to provide the National Election Commission with proof of adequate personal funds. He asked whether that was the case and, if so, whether it adversely affected women candidates. He also wished to know whether the special constituency seat for women had been filled in the last elections.
Ms. Cleveland said that maternal mortality resulting from unsafe abortions accounted for almost one third of all cases of maternal mortality. The delegation should provide additional information on efforts to improve access to contraception, to raise awareness of reproductive health and to combat the stigmatization of voluntary termination of pregnancy. She asked whether the State party had considered increasing access to legal abortion through its decriminalization. She would appreciate further information on the requirement of authorization of voluntary termination of pregnancy by two physicians and on the frequency of access to a lawful abortion.
Mr. Mulbah (Liberia) said that older people were traditionally given preferential treatment in a wide range of circumstances. For instance, if there was a queue in a hospital, they were usually brought to the front. Action was being taken to improve services on behalf of persons with mental disabilities and to provide the requisite training courses, since the F.J. Grant Memorial Hospital was currently the only facility with qualified specialists. Foreign nationals enjoyed the right to equal treatment. For instance, the fees for medical care were the same as those charged to Liberian citizens.
The Law Reform Commission would be informed of the Committee’s concerns regarding the definition of terrorism.
Mr. Togbah (Liberia) said that his country would shortly submit a report to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Special facilities, such as tactile ballots, had been provided for persons with disabilities during the elections, and polling officers had been alerted to their needs. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection cooperated with the National Commission on Disabilities in promoting the welfare of older persons and persons with disabilities. The Ministry of Education was drafting an inclusive education policy for children with special needs so that they could be integrated into the regular school system.
Ms. Cassell (Liberia) said that traditional cultural factors had limited women’s participation in the political system. However, she wished to draw attention to paragraph 8 of the State party’s replies to the list of issues, which described recent advances under the Election Law. The same paragraph referred to women’s role in the Supreme Court and to the prominent positions they had held in the executive branch.
Mr. Mulbah (Liberia) said that the Penal Law specified the cases in which a voluntary termination of pregnancy was allowed. However, many people were unaware of that right and therefore opted for an illegal abortion. More effective awareness-raising campaigns were therefore required.
With regard to the complaint that Shaki Kamara had died because of the lack of prompt medical attention, the incident had occurred during the Ebola crisis, when it had been difficult to secure transport to a hospital. The Government had expressed serious concern on receiving the report concerning the investigation and President Johnson Sirleaf had granted reparations to the family before leaving office. The report had recommended disciplinary rather than criminal prosecution of those responsible for his death. The military must clearly be alerted to their obligations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Mr. Heyns said that, despite the fact that the State party had ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant in 2005, it had nonetheless reintroduced the death penalty in 2008. The Minister of Justice had claimed that the ratification was invalid because mandatory internal procedures had not been followed. He therefore welcomed the State party’s recognition of the binding nature of that Optional Protocol in section 14 of the State party’s replies to the list of issues. However, he underscored the need, in line with article 1 (2) of that Optional Protocol, to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty in the State party’s jurisdiction.
The Independent National Commission on Human Rights had reported that violent police action during arrest was the most common complaint filed against the police. According to section 5.6 of the Penal Law, police officers must believe that the immediate use of force was necessary in order to effect an arrest. However, that was a subjective rather than an objective condition. The Liberia National Police Act of 2016 reportedly provided for regulations to rectify that situation. He asked how soon the regulations would be adopted. According to the Liberia National Police Revised Duty Manual, the discharge or possession of firearms in a manner that was not consistent with the policy on use of force was a serious violation. He would appreciate receiving information on the use of force policy and asked whether a new standard governing the use of force had been adopted.
The meeting rose at 5.55 p.m.