Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Liberia president in symbolic Christmas prison term

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is travelling to the remote jungle area on Christmas Eve

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says she is going to spend Christmas Day at an old maximum security prison in the jungle.

Bella Yalla prison is in the remote north of Liberia, where political prisoners were kept and often tortured.

During her visit the prison will be renamed and transformed into a museum.

The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh says her visit is intended to mark the end of the use of torture in Liberia, which is recovering from years of civil war.

Our reporter says during the conflict the government used to fly political prisoners to Bella Yalla prison in the Belle Forest.

He says some of those detained were political colleagues of Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf.

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