A Passionate Letter To His Excellency The President  – Exclusive 67th Edition; Liberia – When The Rule Of Law And Justice Breakdown 

His Excellency,

In the countdown to the Christmas and New Year festivities and season, I followed and covered the PROTEST MARCH of Liberian Female Lawyers, Women Advocacy groups and other citizens standing in solidarity with the women (including a few men). The March commenced at Vamoma in Sinkor and ended at the Premises of the Ministry of Justice on 14th Street, Sinkor, majorly protesting against the very despicable and inhumane manner in which Ms. Deddeh Simmonde was mercilessly beaten and grossly abused and disgraced by her assailants and some frenzied mob on November 13, 2023 at popular Red Light commercial district in Paynesville, just bordering Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia.

Albeit the joyous Christmas mood, it was very emotive on the premises of the Ministry of Justice, when the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the learned Cllr. Musa Deen came to receive the Petition from the protesters, delivered by Cllr. Everlyn Gongloe, there was so much moaning, groping, wailing and lamentations that even a less emotional person like me could hardly hold back my tears and empathetic grief. Howbeit, the Petition being delivered amidst intermittent and spontaneous moaning, wailing and demands for speedy justice to Deddeh Simmonde, the apprehension of all who participated in and or aided and abetted such heinous violation – as well as the need for the government to practically elevate and enhance the defence of the rights of women and the girl child, Mr. Musa Deen rightfully responded by sympathising with the grief of the protesters. He further assured them that much was being done to ensure the revocation of the bail for the alleged perpetrators, their rearrests, and other stringent measures that would help deter such mob actions and violations against women and the girl child especially.

Moving from the Deddeh Simmonde issue, and reflecting on the growing spate of rape of minors and women, as well as the compromise of such cases and mob violence across the country, many protesters demanded that government needed to increase budgetary allocation to the Police and National Security sectors, augment logistical support to the Police, in order to make them more proactive and able to adequately respond to security situations and violations across the country.

It would be noted that a major cause of the compromise of rape cases in communities across the country is because some security personnel demand a lot of money from survivors/victims and or their families for services that are expected to be free of cost. As such, the survivors and their families see themselves as “double victims.” So as a result they would rather compromise with predators and receive some financial “reparation” than going through the gruesome exploitation of some police officers, while in pain and trauma.

Mob violence and justice seem to have increased over the years due to the breakdown of law and order and especially that many cases reported to the Police are not speedily investigated and prosecuted. So, criminals have been so emboldened and keep terrorizing community dwellers without justice being served – as a result, community dwellers have developed the unfortunate path of mob justice and lynching of suspects, as a means to restrain the criminals. This, however, as wrong and illegal as it is, has also led to the brutalization and or killing of some innocent civilians.

It is therefore expected that government will take their responsibility to enhance and enforce the rule of law very seriously in order to forestall mob violence and justice in our communities across the country, as well as proactively elevate the rights of women and the girl child.

I closing, I would like to enjoin the government of Liberia to note that Liberia, being still a patriarchal society, needs to robustly enforce existing laws on rape and mob violence/justice, and not just pay lip service to them, as well as make more stringent and enforceable laws that would protect all and sundry, but especially the girl child, women, indigent and vulnerable persons in the Liberian society.

Women’s and the girl child rights are HUMAN RIGHTS TOO!! 

Best Regards, 

Dr. Abraham Williams

  • Senior Consultant, Liberia Reform Movement (LRM)
  • Global Member, Amnesty International (AI)
  • Member, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  • Member, Inter-African Union for Human Rights (UIDH)
  • Member, Guinean Organization for Human Rights (OGDH)
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