16 May 2019

Liberia: Living in Fear

Photo: Liberian Observer
Angry protester at the Temple of Justice (file photo).

When Ms. Weyatta Ulla Metzger house gutted fire on June 14, 2018, she initially thought it was a mere accident. Therefore when an initial police report came back inconclusive on June 15, 2018 with the cause of fire not being established, Ms. Metzger didn't worry much until she began to receive anonymous calls threatening her life.

The fire started from a neighbor's apartment (Apt-1) and extended to Ms. Metzger apartment (Apt-2), at about 1 PM Thursday, while she was at work. As a result of the fire, she lost all her documents along with other valuables.

Ms. Metzger did not only lost her home but everything including gold jewelries valued at US25,000, one IPad tablet valued at US1000, an ordinary Liberian Passport (L153858) valued at US50, containing a multiple V-1 Canadian visa, assorted documents including land deed, a Bsc and Master degrees, cash of US8000, and LRD250,000.

She was of course devastated but had no clue that more was still ahead of her. According to Ms. Metzger who displayed police reports, and letters in the offices of the New Dawn on Tuesday April 2, 2019, the unknown caller has issued repeated death threats and sometimes insinuates that next time it won't be fire and threatening comments that make her to rethink the entire fire incident on that fateful June 14-something which has traumatized her the more.

Ms. Metzger who was pursuing another Masters in International Relations at the State run University had not been able to resume her studies since the fire incident amid the repeated threats.

She said she has filed complaints to the police but without a number to show since the caller usually put the number on private before calling not much has been done. Now she fears for her dear life, especially in an environment where armed robbers often target homes leaving female victims rape and wounded.

But there could be other factors which Ms. Metzger may not be looking at-that is her involvement in female activism-advocating against female genital mutilation something that is an issue for many young women here who hailed from traditional backgrounds. Many parents from traditional backgrounds usually would compare their girls to be initiated.

Sometimes these come with abduction of these girls to force them in to the Sandy society especially within the traditional communities (leeward) parts of the country.

However, closed family source told this paper that some relatives of Ms. Metzger are pursuing her initiation into the sandy society where FGM are practice.

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