Following the just-released verdict of Lebanese national cleared of charges against girls that were trafficked to Lebanon by Abbas El Debes on Monday by the judge of the 11th Circuit Court in Tubmanburg, due to government lawyers being unlicensed and without direct evidence to prosecute, the case has captured the attention of Liberians at home and abroad.
Several citizens and non-citizens have provided mixed reactions about the issue.
Many of those interviewed believe in the saying: “No justice for the poor’ and therefore urged the international community to look keenly in the issue and protect these girls from the state of disgrace and agony they are experiencing in their own communities.
Speaking to this paper in an exclusive interview yesterday in Monrovia, a sophomore student of the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) Mr. Frederick Tulay, 24, said that he is very angry about the government’s failure to protect its citizens especially in such case.
“I’m really feeling bad about this situation to see a Lebanese National being set free due to government’s own failure to provide capable, licensed lawyers to plead the case of its citizens.
“It’s a total disgrace for us in Liberia because our government doesn’t value its citizens but gives credence to foreigners to destroy the future of our sisters,” he said.
“Liberia must be able to value its citizens, must take key interest in the wellbeing of every Liberian not only when the leaders wants to seek state power. If something is not done about this, it’s dangerous to the world because Liberians in other countries will also be marginalized because the government cannot protect its citizens.”
“As a woman I feel so much disenchanted because the girls that went through this terrible experience are women like myself who will love to receive justice in my country as it relates to this matter,” 23 year old Fatumata Jabbie of the AME University said with emotions.
She explained that from the day the girls set their feet on Liberian soil, she was pleased with the manner in which the government reacted by taking a huge delegation to receive them at the airport but, to her surprise, the entire case turned to be different with Abbas being set free without charges.
“The government through our justice system should have carried out better investigation if they didn’t believe these girls, by at least sending them along with some officials of government to Lebanon to see for themselves the pains our sisters went through.
‘But nobody believed in them so they provided unlicensed lawyers to plead for them and allow Abbas to go free without punishment but we will all pray to our God for justice to be done one day,” Ms. Jabbie of New Georgia said.
Joseph Kwesi, a Ghanaian citizen and a petty trader in Red-light, told this paper that what happened in Liberia cannot go on in his country Ghana especially with foreigner ill-treating citizens in the country.
“In my country this is a very big issue because our government prioritize citizens; therefore total justice was going to be done for our sisters. I really feel their pains and understand the difficulties they went through and after all they went through was it unfortunate to receive no justice from government,” he said.
Madam Rosetta Brown, a mother of 4 children who trades in charcoal business in the 12th street community, called on other women’s groups to work along with the girls in order to reintegrate them in the society despite the unfortunate situation they are undergoing.
“I am a mother and I know what it means for your children to go through serious torture, this man shouldn’t have been set free and we keep preaching Gender issues in our country this is an abomination for our country.
“As poor mothers who don’t have money to pay for justice, we will keep praying for God himself to handle this difficult issue that our government couldn’t fight for us and make our children to go through shame in their own motherland,” Madam Brown said.
She meanwhile encouraged the ladies to firstly focus on God for their justice and use their stories to defend other women that are going through similar issues in other countries.
“Make the world to know that this is not the end of your lives but a strong test of times in life to strengthen you for the future challenges ahead of you and make mama Liberia a proud nation that we can count on for justice for the poor,” she uged the girls with tears in her eyes.