25 March 2019

Liberia: Sinoe Women Demand Justice Over 'Violent Assaults' of Kinswomen

The two women accused of kidnapping and witchcraft in Sinoe were stripped naked and paraded through the streets. A third woman was mobbed to death.

In an effort to stop mob justice, protect the dignity of women in Sinoe County against abuse and violence, and bring to book on the misplaced pride and sense of impunity among perpetrators of brutal assault of the three Sinoe Women, the Sinoe Women Association (SWA) has called for justice against the perpetrators.

The 11-women delegation of SWA indulged the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus to ensure that there must be justice against the perpetrator to check mob violence and prevent hooligans from indulging in vandalism which recently resulted to the loss of life of one of the three women in the town of Numopoh, Sinoe County.

Madam Susie T. Keykpo, the president of the SWA, made the assertions on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in the office of the Secretary General of the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus, Rep. Jay Nagbe Sloh. Speaking in her Kru vernacular, Madam Keykpo said the incident only affected the dignity of the victims and all women around the world.

The three women, who were publicly humiliated were accused of being involved in witchcraft and linked to the kidnapping of a child. But a video clip went viral on social media, showing two of the three women stripped naked and publicly flogged by some men.

The incident, which was captured on video that went viral on social media, actually happened some two months ago in December 2018.

A member of the SWA delegation, who preferred to remain unnamed, said the video was leaked from the phone of a local authority of the county of which has been in the possession of that local authority for almost two months ever since the distasteful incident took place.

"That local authority, too, needs to be arrested and investigated," she said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Sloh has assured the women of Sinoe that the Caucus will ensure that justice is served in the case where the three victimized women.

"We will be traveling to Sinoe County soon to gather more information on the issue, and will meet the victims, elders and other local leaders to gather more information on the incident and how it can be prevented in the future," Rep. Sloh said.

He also indicated that national and international protocols against trial by ordeal will be brought to bear on the perpetrators.

He and the delegation discussed several remedies, including possible relocation of the victims from Sinoe County to other parts of Liberia due to trauma and fear instilled into them by the public humiliation that they have suffered. He apologized to all women for the embarrassment this situation has caused them.

Previous condemnations of the attack against the three women

First Lady Clar Weah, Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, Sinoe County's District #2 Representative, J. Nagbe Sloh, the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) and Association of Female Lawyers (AFELL) have already condemned the act.

In a statement issued Tuesday, February 26, 2019, Mrs. Weah described the ordeal inflicted upon the three ladies as barbaric, unacceptable and a flagrant violation of their human rights.

She sent a caveat to the perpetrators of this brutal act and other forms of violence against women and children that they will face the full weight of the law.

Also on Tuesday, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor issued a statement and emphasized how shocked she was by the distasteful video footage, in which two females are seen stripped naked and been assaulted by some residents of Sinoe County.

"I am exceedingly shocked by a distasteful video circulating on social media, in which two females were stripped naked and assaulted by some residents of Sinoe County, VP Howard-Taylor said.

Representative Sloh said the incident has embarrassed all civilized people, especially Liberian citizens from Sinoe around the world.

"In these civilized days, only persons suffering from chronic insanity and irreversible mental derangement can even think of meting out such abnormal and violent social behavior against any human being, let alone women," Rep. Sloh indicated.

Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) condemns in the strongest term, a video recording trending on social media, notably facebook, and reported in the press, of two Liberian women being paraded naked in the streets of Sinoe County, on allegation of being witchcrafts.

The Bar maintains that Liberia is governed by the rule of law. Under our laws, where a person is suspected of committing a crime, the person is investigated by the Police, charged and forwarded to court for prosecution. Our law does not support, sanction, or condone, in any form and manner, individuals or institutions taking law into their own hands. The act against the two women, whereby they are striped butt-naked and paraded in the streets by some citizens within the vicinity, is a gross violation of the law, a perpetuation of jungle justice, and damaging to the high values of womanhood.

The leadership of the Association of Female Lawyers (AFELL) said it received, with utter shock and dismay, news of the savage and barbaric treatment of the two females, who were stripped naked and paraded for reportedly accused of being witches, in southeastern Liberia.

"In no uncertain terms, AFELL condemns in the strongest terms this barbaric and inhumane act against the women. We therefore call on the government to bring to justice, without the least delay, the perpetrators of this uncivilized and diabolical act to book. This act is totally inconsistent with the status of a civilized nation in the 21st century," AFELL said.

Liberia

Weah Meets 'Aggrieved Lawmakers'

In an effort to resolve ongoing political tension at the Legislature, the leadership of aggrieved lawmakers under the… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2019 Liberian Observer. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.