Major step in addressing Liberia’s state of emergency on rape
By Alvin Worzi and David A. Yates
President George Manneh Weah has unveiled the country’s second post-war public DNA machine as part of his government promise to fight rape.
The DNA machine comes as the government struggles to prosecute rape cases due to the absence of forensic facilities or a functioning DNA-testing machine for evidence gathering. As a result, many alleged rapists get acquitted as state prosecutors lack concrete evidence for a conviction.
“Under my declaration of rape as a national emergency, the Minister of Finance Samuel Tweah was mandated to provide funding for the immediate purchasing of a DNA machine. Today, I am happy to announce that the DNA testing machine is now in Liberia. This is a great step in bringing relief and justice to survivors of gender-based violence as to alleged perpetrators,” President Weah said as he unveiled the DNA machine.
It was shown early today at the program making the celebration of the International Women’s Day at the Ministerial Complex.
According to President Weah, after setting up a task force to look into the increasing wave of rape and formulate ways to address it, it was noted that the absence of a well-functional DNA machine, rapists have gone free because the state cannot actually prove who committed the crime in most cases during court proceedings.
Details to follow…