LIBERIA: Following the Humiliation Of Two Women In Sinoe County, Civil Society Group For Women Rights Petitions Legislature

The humiliation of two women in Sinoe County, south eastern Liberia serious attention has been drawn with a group of civil society organization and opinion leaders have petitioned the National Legislature calling on the Government of Liberia to ensure that the rights and dignity of women and girls are protected and defended in the country.

Presenting the position statement to members of the House Representatives at the Capitol Building recently, the Executive Director of the National Institute for Public Opinion, Roseline T. Richards, said the group’s attention has been drawn to the abhorrent torture and abuse of three young Liberian women in Numopoh Clan, Kpayan District, Sinoe County.

According to Richards, the acts of inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment meted against the women who were accused of practicing witchcraft, resulted into the gruesome death of one of the victims.

Richards alluded to similar incident in Kpayan District, where a lady and her fiancée were brutalized on accusations of breaching traditional practices and another incident in Grigsby Farm, Butaw District in Sinoe County.

Richards also called on the Government through the legislature to relocate the victims as a means of protecting and defending their identities and ensuring confidentiality throughout the investigation, adding that the case be given a fair and speedy trial so that the victims and their families can find justice and peace and live freely afterwards.

The group is also requesting the provision of psychosocial counseling and trauma healing programs to lift the trauma and psychosocial effects of the violent act meted against the victims.

Receiving the position statement, the acting Chairman of the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus, Representative Crayton O. Duncan, commended the group for the peaceful assembly and assured that the House will support the movement of the victims, adding that the Caucus will not condone any form of violence against women in the society.

He said 90 percent of the perpetrators of the act against the three women have been arrested and the authority is still in search of the rest to bring them to justice to restore the dignity of women.

In a related development, Gbarpolu County District #2 Representative, Kanie Wesso, has called for speedy trail of those arrested for allegedly manhandling and humiliating three young women accused of practicing witchcraft in Sinoe County.

Recently, a Facebook video went viral showing three women accused of practicing witchcraft being assaulted and humiliated by a group of men in Numopoh Town, Sinoe County, Southeastern Liberia.

Several women organizations, including the Coalition of Political Party Women in Liberia (COPPWIL), as well as the office of the Vice President, among others, have since criticized the act which was confirmed by the Liberia National Police that made several arrests.

Wesso, who also condemned the incident as earlier done by Sinoe County District #3 Representative, Jay Nagbe Sloh, told the Liberia News Agency (LINA) recently that the women who were brutalized and stripped naked in the public are mothers and as such their rights like all others must be respected.

Regardless of the nature of the allegation levied against them, Wesso believes that such humiliation of the women, one of whom died, must never be condoned in the Liberian society where women have made strides to gain their rightful place.

The Gbarpolu County lawmaker wants all women of Liberia at home and abroad, to condemn the act of the perpetrators, saying that such has the propensity to places a taint on the nation’s image and reputation.

He also commended the Liberia National Police for investigating and arresting seven suspects linked to the barbaric act and forwarding them to court.

“This act indicates a public disgrace to all women and it must not be taken lightly, let the Government of Liberia act immediately,” Wesso said.

LINA

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About Cholo Brooks 13510 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.