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Washington Announces Visa Restriction on Individuals Undermining Democracy in Liberia

The United States Government through its Secretary Of State—Antony J. Blinken, is warning those undermining democracy in Liberia ahead of the country’s presidential and legislative elections slated for October10, 2023.

In a statement issued September 27, 2023, the United States said it is committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Liberia and around the world but will not hesitate to institute the appropriate restrictions to those bent on undermining democracy in Liberia.

“Today, I am announcing a new visa restriction policy under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for those undermining democracy in Liberia. This policy will take effect in advance of the upcoming election,” said in the circular.

Under this policy, the United States noted that they will pursue visa restrictions for those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Liberia, including through manipulation or rigging of the electoral process; use of violence to prevent people from exercising their rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly; use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from disseminating their views; or engagement in any other activity designed to improperly influence the outcome of an election.

“Certain family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions. Persons who undermine democracy in Liberia—including in the lead-up to, during, and following Liberia’s 2023 elections—may be found ineligible for U.S. visas under this policy,” the statement added.

The visa restriction policy announced will apply to specific individuals and is not directed at the Liberian people or the Government of Liberia.

The decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the commitment of the United States to support Liberians’ aspirations to have free and fair elections that demonstrate the will of the people and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.

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