Liberia: Law proposed to criminalise those who "knowingly or willfully infect" with any communicable disease, including HIV, Ebola, hepatitis B or gonorrhoea

The House of Representatives is reviewing a law to criminalize the concealing of information of persons with communicable or contiguous diseases in Liberia. Presenting the Draft Bill to the Plenary during the 54th Day sitting of the House, Lofa County Representative of District 5, Moses Kollie, proposed that if a person or group of persons knowingly or willfully infect another person or group of persons with any communicable disease that should be considered as a criminal Act.

The Bill titled “2014 Act Criminalizing Concealing Information of person (s) with Communicable/contiguous infectious Disease(s) in Liberia” named those communicable or contiguous diseases as Ebola, gonorrhea hepatitis B (Hep B), HIV/AIDS and Lassa fever.

Others include Leprosy, Measles, meningitis, smallpox, Tuberculosis, typhoid fever and yellow fever amongst others.

“If a person or group of persons knowingly, intentionally or willfully infect another person or groups of persons with any of the communicable/contiguous disease(s) as mentioned in section 3 of this Act shall be considered as a Criminal Offense, second degree felony punishment under the laws of the Republic of Liberia”. As stipulated in Section 4 of the bill.

The House Committees on Health and Social welfare and Judiciary have been mandated by plenary to review and advice that honorable body next Tuesday.