31 May 2017

Liberia: 'Fire Us'

"Mama no day ooh, if you want to fire, fire us till we die; we will never run away from this struggle. No justice, no session. We want justice. Think of your children and think of the children of Liberia," aggrieved group of Liberian children chanted Tuesday on the grounds of the National Legislature.

They had stormed the Building in demand of justice for one of their colleagues, a 13-yr-girl who was allegedly raped by Grand Gedeh County District #2 Representative Morias Waylee.

Dressed in individual attires (jean trousers with T-shirts, blouses, dresses and canvass shoes) , they besieged the entire main entry of the National Legislature by sitting on the road at the main.

No vehicle entered or exited the grounds of the Building for nearly an hour during the children's stay. Police Inspector General, Gregory Coleman and the Deputy Inspector General for Operations, Abraham Kromah along with some of their lieutenants were called in to deal with the situation.

IG Coleman pleaded in vain for them to leave the road and allow members of the 53rd National Legislature to meet with them. Acting under the banner Liberia Children's Forum, the angry children were led by the National Speaker of the Liberia National Children's Representative Forum, Satta F. Sherriff.

In a petition statement read by Ms. Sheriff , they craved urgent investigation into the alleged rape case involving Rep. Waylee. The Grand Gedeh County lawmaker must recuse himself to go through the investigations, saying he is not above the law, the children demanded.

They recounted the numerous rape cases in the country for which so many perpetrators have been placed behind bars. "For too long Liberian children rights have been violated. We say enough is enough. We say gone are those days when children rights were abused, downplayed and disrespected. We have come to demand justice for our precious 13 years old who was allegedly raped and impregnated by Rep. Waylee," the petition statement reads.

They recommended the setting up of an independent investigation team by the Ministry of Gender to unearth the truth behind the alleged rape case. Frontpage Africa recently reported that the Grand Gedeh County lawmaker was allegedly involved in raping his 13 year old niece.

The LCF therefore demands that the paper must collaborate with the LNP and the Solicitor General of Liberia to provide details and information on the alleged rape case.

"That Representative Morias Waylee be immediately arrested and placed behind bars for investigations and prosecution on counts. Representative Waylee must recuse himself and give the investigation a chance," the children recommended.

Addressing the children, Inspector General Coleman called on them and all aggrieved parties to help the LNP with relevant information and details to speed up the investigation.

"To make this process easy, please help the police if you have information about this issue. Any of you with details can do that. We will protect your identity if you are afraid," he said.

Receiving the petition, Bong County District #5 Representative, Edward Karfia who was accompanied by his colleagues assured the children of their timely intervention.

The children agitation followed another protest then led by child rights advocate, Abraham Keita. They petitioned the House of Representatives to prosecute or allow the lawmaker to appear in court to exonerate himself.

Keita said the case was no different from the former President of the Liberia National Students Union (LINSU), Varney Jarsey who is behind bars on allegation of rape.

Keita further indicated that no one is above the law and as such, the lawmaker should be turned over for prosecution. "The rights of children and women should not be abused especially by those who are the framer of the laws," he said.

A group of women claiming to be under the banner 'Concern Women Against Rape and Violence In Liberia,' told a local daily in Monrovia that they would employ every mean possible aimed at making sure that Representative Waylee is arrested and dragged to court for prosecution over his alleged involvement in raping and impregnating a 13-year-old girl in Grand Gedeh. INCHR:

At the same time, the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) has expressed shock over series of troubling events in the past weeks. The INHRC has expressed concern about allegation of rape against Representative Morias Waylee of Grand Gedeh County.

The INCHR says it is currently gathering facts relating to this human rights issue, wants the Liberia National Police to launch an investigation into the situation leaving no stone unturned.

Waylee's Response:

Representative Waylee has repeatedly denied the allegation levied against him, terming it as a mere propaganda designed by people he described as his 'antagonists'.

The Grand Gedeh lawmaker indicated that the report is not only false and misleading, but lack any iota of truth, stressing it comes from the belleh of the devil. He called on those linking him to the alleged act of rape to take their complaint to the court for redress and desist soliciting public sentiments.

Representative Waylee further denied knowing the victim, saying as a father of several children, he will never do such evil thing as being alleged. "To be very frank with you, I really don't know that girl and don't know about this allegation. I have been receiving series of calls about this purported information designed by my detractors," he said.

Liberia

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