Hassan Bility is the director of the Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP), a non governmental organization dedicated to the documentation of war time atrocities in Liberia and to assisting victims in their pursuit of justice for these crimes. Under Mr. Bility’s leadership, the GJRP’s documentation work has led to the investigation and arrests of alleged Liberian war criminals throughout Europe and the U.S., including the arrest of former Liberian rebel commanders Alieu Kosiah in Switzerland, and Martina Johnson in Belgium; the arrest of Charles Taylor’s ex-wife Agnes Reeves Taylor in the UK; and the arrest and eventual conviction of former ULIMO rebel commander Mohammed Jabbateh in the U.S. We are honored to award him the Judith Lee Stronach Human Rights award for his courage, and his singular pursuit of justice for Liberia.
Mr. Bility was one of the most prominent Liberian journalists and human rights activists during Liberia’s civil war. While serving as Editor in Chief of the Analyst Newspaper under the regime of Charles Taylor, he was arrested and brutally tortured on Taylor’s orders because of his critical, independent journalism. He later testified in several trials, including the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and Charles Taylor trials at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the trial of Charles McArthur Emmanuel commonly known as Chuckie Taylor in the U.S. and the Guus Kouwenhoven trial in the Netherlands. Hassan Bility was awarded the Amnesty International 2003 International UK Media Award under the category Human Rights Journalism under Threat