The Standard Bearer of the Alternative National Congress, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, reacted sharply to the decision today by the Liberian Senate, led by Vice President and President of the Senate, Joseph N. Boakai, to amend Liberia’s rape law which originally treated rape as a non-bailable offense. With this action, the Senate is prioritizing bailing out accused rapists instead of giving due attention to upholding the judicial system and to ensuring swift justice for women traumatized by rape.
The non-bailable law was initiated following the second Liberian civil war, to address the many atrocities Liberian women endured. The law, making rape a non-bailable offense, addressed the culture of violence against women that once engulfed our country.
Legal deterrence to rape and to violence against women in general, is a key legacy of the past 12 years of peace and stability, which we as a country have enjoyed.
The move in the Senate today takes our country backwards and it sends a clear message to women that our current law makers will not prioritize women’s safety and rights. Mr. Cummings, is taking a stand against gender based violence and letting women and offenders alike know that he will uphold our judicial system and fight for the rights of all Liberian women and girls.
Stated Mr. Cummings, “I want the Senate to know that when this bill comes across my desk as President, the first thing I will do is veto it.”