“Prosecute, Castrate Convicted Rapists”

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“Justice for rape victims has been too slow to come or non-existent at all, partly due to corruption and lack of institutional will and capacity to prosecute cases, which leads to impunity in some cases,” says Dr. Nyan.

…says Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan to GoL

By Maron Gullid

In a recent interview by Monrovia’s Power9 TV-FM, infectious disease scientist, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan has said that Liberia’s Justice Minister, Cllr. Musa Dean, should “concentrate on prosecuting the high number of rape cases in the country.”

Dr. Nyan later told reporters that “laws should be enacted so that if convicted with scientific and other convincing evidence, the convicted rapists should be punished by castration, long jail time and counseling to deter rape and the prolific child molestation in Liberia.”

The infectious diseases scientist, Dr. Nyan, who is also a social activist further stated that “we have enough criminal situations in the country that the Justice Minister and the Justice Ministry should handle” instead of he [Justice Minister] being placed on a committee to investigate scientific and diagnostic matters at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia.

He added that “rape is now an epidemic or public health issue of its own that is competing with the COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia.”

According to empirical data “I believe that the rape cases have increased 10 to 20-fold during this COVID-19 Pandemic and these high number of rape cases have not been investigated,” Dr. Nyan said, adding that “this should concern the Justice Ministry as this is an imminent issue that needs to be addressed.”

As reported by the local daily FrontPage Africa in July this year, data from the Bureau of Corrections at the Ministry of Justice show more than 600 cases of rape, sodomy, aggravated assault, and sodomy with criminal intent were reported from around the country between January and June with a little over 100 cases being investigated.

Women’s and Children’s Rights activist, Tamia Patience S. Kotea in recent post stated that “we are cognizant of the fact that women and children’s rights are still being abused during this Covid-19 crisis … and we have constantly been involved with advocacy over the years.”

Many Anti-Rape advocate groups in and around Liberia have been staging protest demonstrations and web-based awareness activities aimed at drawing government attention.

Delton Domah, a Youth Ambassador of the Friendship Ambassador Foundation and his group have organized a youth action against Rape and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence to be held on August 25 this year in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital.

There have also been numerous sit-in actions staged at the Liberian police headquarters by a women’s group against rape and other forms of violence against women.

“Justice for rape victims has been too slow to come or non-existent at all partly due to corruption, and lack of institutional will and capacity to prosecute cases, which leads to impunity in some cases,” said Dr. Nyan.

He [Dr. Nyan] has emphasized that government and all political parties as well as social groups should pay more attention to women’s issues and the prolific child molestation in Liberia.

There has been a call for convicted rapists to face execution, the recent one coming from the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Major General Prince C. Johnson, who called for the introduction of a law that seeks death penalty for rapists in Liberia.

An infectious disease expert and inventor, Dr. Nyan is also a social activist who is in solidarity with women’s and children’s rights as well as democracy. His call for convicted rapists to be castrated and face long jail time has added to the national debate in Liberia as to which method of punishment could put an end to violence against women and end to molestation of children.

Author

23 COMMENTS

  1. Justice N. Kiribakran of the Madras High Court, India, in October 2015 suggested chemical castration as additional punishment for child abusers, especially, child rapists. However, for reasons of efficacy and ethics, the suggestion was turned down though few western democracies, including Germany, are allegedly carrying out such castrations. Reportedly, some psychotic rapists, repeated offenders, have even volunteered in the USA and elsewhere.

    Before we get carried away, let’s remember that policing in the West is more effective, because of adequate funding to support training, logistics, and incentives for officers which encourage victims to report crimes they know will be prosecuted. Undoubtedly, castration also will scare offenders to kill their victims; does LNP have capacity to prevent it? Rape and sexual assaults on minors are heinous crimes, but let’s get it right in deterring them to not endanger the lives of potential victims.

    • Ride On , and not Right On , Mr. Sylvester what?. But hold on a minute here . Hold on here ! Did you actually misspelled your name ? Or is that your covered name for this post ? O well, what ever name that is pleasing to you is OK. Like the name of True or False Nationalist. You can used that too. But just the same, you made a very good point. With the words of ” Before we get carried away “. The Doc. has lost his senses and has become political.
      As it is written, Fools Rushed Where Angels Fear To Tread. Doctors do not support unnecessary medical treatment to human life. Their rights are to save a life. That’s the medical oath. Not to take one or to do harm to none.
      That is what is troubling about these kind of Liberians intellectuals. A little recognition of their educational knowledge will turned them into an overnight politicians. Forgetting that many Liberians are no longer living in the Gola Forest, with the so-called intellectuals believing that they have the monopoly of education in that country. But No More ! That was then, but no more. And the Doc has become a political fool, where others Medical Doctors fear to tread.

  2. The issue of rape in Liberia seems to be getting too much attention in recent weeks. In a way, it’s all good. By talking about the voluminous cases of rape, rapists and would-be rapists will pause for a while.

    Some people have suggested the idea of capital punishment as a way of “putting an end” to rape. We are also being told, especially by Dr. D. Nyan, that castration should be considered if a rapist has been prosecuted. Dr. Nyan is a likeable gentleman. Nyan is highly respected across the board by most Liberians. And yes, as a good Liberian, Nyan has a right to speak truth to power and make suggestions. But I disagree with him on the concept of castration. In my humble view, castration is a cruel form of punishment that will not be able to deter rape.

    There are many types of criminals in Liberia. The “zogos” are a bunch of criminals who terrorize civilian life everywhere in and around the city of Monrovia. The zogos are seemingly out of control. Example, while in Liberia last year, my telephone got stolen from my pocket, just a block away from the Red Light area. The zogos were suspected.

    The raping of a child, woman or man is as serious as robbing someone at gunpoint or snatching a phone mysteriously from one’s pockets. A crime is a crime, regardless of the size. But yet, no one talks about how a convicted zogo should be punished.

    Let’s put it this way. Too many crimes are being committed everyday in Liberia. Something has got to be done in order to bring criminals under control. But the castration of men and the use of capital punishment as a way of stopping a criminal activity shouldn’t be embraced by the government. Please.

    Fact:
    Women commit rape. But a woman cannot be castrated. Also, castration is kind of harsh. A long jail term is recommended after a guilty plea has been entered. Education and meaningful job creation can help. I am humbly speaking for myself

    Peace

  3. Mr. Hney

    Simply opened to discussions:

    I differ with you though on one point when you say, “A crime is a crime regardless of the size” because size does matter in the manner in which crimes are committed and the manner in which the government categorizes and prosecutes them.

    If size did not matter, then we could execute persons who committed a simple misdemeanor like pissing in the streets, and let people who committed felonious or treasonable offenses like the public theft of $LSD16 bln at the CBL and the murder of a potential state witness, Mr. Innis, to go scot-free.

    As you are quite aware, the Liberian system of jurisprudence is patterned after that of the American system of jurisprudence which in turn is largely derived from the Brits system of law and order and the equitable dispensation of justice. Under these systems punishment for the commission of crimes or torts (personal wrongs) is largely determined by the “degree or magnitude of the offenses”.

    Thus goes the Liberian saying, “How can you kill a fly with an elephant?” To simply put it, the punishment must be equal to the crime.

    Now, am I trying to downplay the stealing of your phone? No. I do not imply that because a wrong is a wrong no matter how one looks at it. However, when the issues bog down to the determining of punishment for one’s offenses, then in my opinion, the issue of the “size” or the “degree” of the offense begins matters.

    Why are rape cases demanding so much public attention than other offenses like you asked? Because in my opinion, crimes unlike torts, which are personal wrongs done to individuals, usually affect large segments of society to the extent that they endanger the health, safety, and welfare of its people. Not all crimes or torts meet the category of a social “problem”. A crime only meets the category of a “social problem” when it becomes a menace and nuisance to many segments of the society, and unfortunately rape in Liberia falls within this category.

    I personally believe that these are some of the compelling factors that have made the learned Dr. Nyan to proffer the suggestions of instituting chemical castration against the wanton perpetrators of this heinous offense, and I am right in his corner. Some might be quick to jump to the conclusion when they hear the phrase, “Chemical Castration” and to mis-construe the doctor as saying he is suggesting the removal of the penises of rapists (cutting people nut-beg in Liberia slang).

    However, chemical castration is simply the administration of certain non-fatal drugs to rapists to lower their libido (high sexual drives) until authorities can determine they are no longer a public menace. This procedure is fairly old and is being practiced in many other countries.

    The disease of rape is getting drastic, and it therefore needs a drastic treatment. You cannot treat it with a small dosage and expect the patient to get well. You need a bigger dosage because size matters!

  4. Blamah Zoebohn Price

    Please permit me to piggyback your comments.

    To begin, I sincerely empathized with Mr. Hney for losing his cell phone in the hands of the Zogos (vagrants and wayward youths). Like him, I would have been livid likewise if I was visiting somewhere and my only means of communication is suddenly snatched away. Anyway, one good aspect about this ordeal was in the midst of all the inconveniences, the cell phone is instantaneously replaceable.

    However, when a woman has been raped and killed by an assailant, that life cannot be brought back anymore because it is irreplaceable. When a woman has been deflowered and her virginity taken through force, she has been grossly violated and will never regain her virginity again because it is irreplaceable.

    Additionally, when factors such as communicable diseases like AIDS, COVID-19, EBOLA, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and unwanted pregnancies, trichomoniasis, and so forth, are factored in, the emotional and psychological scars on a woman could be long lasting and very devastating..

    I agreed there exists many other crimes, which are committed in the country daily but do not receive the spotlight like rape does. While government should give urgent attention to rape because of the growing public opinion that it has become dangerously prevalent, I hope it should not lose sight of the continuous public outcry against what the public sees as a government’s carefree attitude towards the pervasiveness of crimes in the country in general.

  5. Mr. Price,
    At least, you didn’t disagree with everything I wrote. The truth of the matter is that you have the right to disagree.

    Regardless of how you toss a coin or how a block of ice is sliced, a “crime is a crime”. The fact is incontrovertible.

    Let’s consider two hypotheticals:
    (1) Boko stole a small pack of Boston baked beans yesterday from a neighborhood candy store. Sadly, Boko got caught by the police a
    few minutes after the heist.

    (2) Lovie stole a million bucks from the Bank of America yesterday. She got caught few hours later by the cops.

    Question:
    Why were Boko and Lovie get caught by the cops yesterday?

    Answer:
    Boko and Lovie got apprehended, and taken to the slammer yesterday by the cops because of theft.

    Question: Mr. Price, do you have a different answer?

    Mr. Price, would you disagree with the above scenario? It is understood that Lovie stole a bigger amount of money. Comparatively, Boko’s theft was smaller than Lovie’s. But what’s the difference? A crime is a crime. Do you still disagree?

    Lastly, in the great eyes of God, will Boko be left off the hook because his sin/crime is smaller?

    Dr. Nyan:
    There’s a difference (as you know) between “chemical castration and castration”. Throughout the above article, there was no mention of “chemical castration”. Logically, the term “chemical” might have been inferred, but it was not stipulated. The average reader will not consider what the renowned doctor had inferred. So although it makes ample sense
    to neutralize the sexual machismo of a rapist as a punishment, I am of the opinion that rape will not be deterred. For sure, a potential chemically castrated rapist will never act a fool and rape women. But, the business of rape will be unstoppable. Fact!

    Do I want rapists to go unpunished? My God, no! All convicted rapist must and should be manhandled!

  6. Chris Nyan IS NOT SERIOUS. He is a stooge doing the bidding of people who do not gave a damn about the lives of Liberian or African babies and children. Only a hypocrite, a stooge, an idiot, or an ignoramus, would suggest mere incapacitation for such A MENACE instead of deterrence.

    If Nyan had taken the courage to do a course in Medical Law, he would not be downplaying the danger and psychological destruction (and at times even death) of children by perpetrators of this menace, and by all implications, proposing the appeasement of the perpetrators (whether voluntary or involuntary) of this menace only to please some of his western masters to who he is inferior!

  7. Uncle Hney:

    Sorry that your cell got stolen. I, too, would be livid if mine was stolen. I dont want us to be too hasty in casting blame of the “zogos”.

    The truth is, not all zogos are bad. the name zogos paint a dark picture and it put all of them in a bad light. granted, most of them are petty criminals doing nothing but that which is not good. In the same token, there are some of them who have just fallen on hard time and is struggling to eke out a living.

    I work with some of them on a daily basis and they want to leave that life but it is hard and life is dealing them a hard hand.

    Statistically, most of the people who commit of rape are in a place of privilege positions and it is they who pounce of unsuspecting females and do them irreparable harm.

    Were the justice system in our country very strong, most of these so called privileged folks would be behind bars. I know of a LU professor who raped his wife’s cousin and is begging the wife to keep silent about it. the cousin is a minor. how can you stomach such ehaviour?

    Uncle Hney, i spending the Xmas with your on that side. Will be in LA . My Xmas on you

    Peace.

  8. Joe,
    You are 101% welcome! I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

    Zogos..
    “Some zogos do not want to be zogos”. I agree with that statement. I was there last year. I saw the suffering. While in Liberia, I lived in the “Cowfield” area of Paynesville. To make ends meet, I saw some people who sold honey, coconuts in a wheel-barrel and all of that. When I came to the US as a young guy from Liberia many years ago, I went through hard rocks. I know about suffering! I took a lot of seeds with me last year. I gave out seeds to some people who are unrelated to me. A couple came from Bomi county. I gave them some seeds. A few months ago, my brother related me that one of the guys who was given some seeds brought some fruits to him as an act of appreciation. In summation, my point is this….if a zogo commits a petty crime, a small crime has been committed. A crime is a crime.

    People like the LU professor you mentioned, most likely “some” government officials and maybe “some” men of the clergy, have misused Liberia for a very long time. Some of those high class people are hardcore criminals. They wear sheep skins over their heads during daytime, but when night comes, all hell breaks lose! The bottom line is this…. the criminals must be stopped at all cost irrespective of their high class status. I don’t care if they are (😈) devil’s angels from hell.

    Somehow In this ongoing debate, I get the sense that I am being misunderstood. I am arguing against capital punishment and castration or “chemical castration” because in my view, such a punishment is cruel and unusual. I do agree. If any rapist is investigated and found guilty, that criminal/rapist must be held accountable but not hanged until death.

    Life imprisonment will do the trick!

    Peace

  9. Mr. Rhyne “Brig” Brigit,
    I thank you for your kindness, your understanding, empathy and sympathy over the disappearance or theft of my phone last year. I am sure if I had known you and had called to let you know how I was mishandled, you probably would have done something spetacular than just being in my shoes. The only thing that’s disturbing is your “piggybackness”. Don’t
    piggyback comrade Blamah or anyone! You have grit. You have guts. Be the good gentleman you’ve always been.

    Okay, on a serious note, we all agree that rape is undoubtedly on the rise in Liberia. Or maybe, rape in Liberia has been going on since time in memorial. Maybe, our poor sisters, cousins, daughters and neices were afraid to come forward in terms of reporting their rape cases. Unfortunately, terrible things happen that usually go unreported. But it seems that this is the opportune time for rapists to be hijacked. Fortunately, female rape victims are coming forward. They’ve borne the scars for a long time. I support those who have come forward! I pray the rape victims who are scared to report their trouble.

    My bottom line:
    Please, let’s not do the capital punishment thing. Let’s not castrate, please. Let’s not do the firing squad thing. If any rapist is investigated and found guilty beyond doubt, he or she must do the time.

    Let’s also not forget…Thou shalt not kill!

    Peace

  10. The well-known apologist of the ANC does not cease to amaze me. In his op-ed, he admits for the very first time that he agrees with me based on what I wrote. But in a twinkle of an eye, the same ANC apologist makes a funny move; he praises another gentleman who’s out to get me. I am befuddled. Should I take him seriously?

  11. Hney

    Simply opened to discussions:

    I was flabbergasted when you insinuated Mr. Paterus Dolo agreed with me and therefore I am out to get you. Have you ever seen or met any of us personally? Have you ever interacted or dealt with any of us on personal terms? How am I out to get you?

    Why would Paterus or I be out to get you, and to what avail? I would imagine that you do come in these discussions, like anybody else, with the object of engaging in friendly, intellectual discourses where we all can learn from one and another regardless of our diverse ideological persuasions.

    Nevertheless, the situation is beginning to appear to me like you are a disciple in the soul winning business, right? O well, like the saying goes in American parlance, “You’ve got the wrong man” because I am way above that fray. I still stand by every word I wrote in my brief, friendly exchanges that “size” does matter in determining punishment for offenses.

    To succinctly restate the gist of my remarks: A phone is snatched, and that is wrong. A raped is committed and a woman dies during the act; that is also wrong. However, the magnitude or severity of the offenses varies, and therefore when determining the penalty for the acts committed the courts system or society as a whole usually looks at the “size” of the crime. I still stand by this point of digression.

    A true exists that other crimes are also occurring in the country but government is under pressure to do more in combatting rape because it has become a scourge and a canker chipping at the moral fiber of the Liberian society.

    Nobody in this rape debate has stated in absolute terms that rape can be completely stopped. However, where opinions seem to converge is their occurrences are alarmingly high and so a re-introduction of capital punishment will drastically curtail it. Empirical evidence gathered from the result of extensive studies done in many different societies around the world does exist on the effectiveness of capital punishment. The support for capital punishment is not just done from some random guess work.

    On the contrary if you are not for capital punishment then it becomes a matter of one’s personal choice. We live in a democracy, and so nobody forces an opinion or a point of view down the throat of another.

    I think Petarus and the other wonderful guys who usually participate in this forum like James, Conah, Moses and many others, whose names I cannot quickly recall, are level-minded and they bring some degree of objectivity and balance into the intellectual discussions, right? And if they were to disagree with me on statements I made in any discussion, I would not say to them that they disagree with me because they are out to get me. That would be going on the extreme and getting-off the proper trajectory of how civic-minded people should conduct themselves in a democracy. This cannot thought is scary!

    I do thank Mr. Rhyne Brigit for piggybacking my former posting. In the same token, he did it because he fathomed the logic of what I said. I have read many of his thought-provoking pieces too and commented on them. The gentleman is quite erudite, and he possesses some awesome abilities in giving originality to his own thoughts.

  12. Price,
    I cannot apologize for what I said. Why? Because it’s all a joke man. Can’t you take a joke?

    If you don’t believe that the statement I made was a joke, the creator knows that! I’m sure you trust and believe in the existence of God. So may He who has made us give you the wisdom to understand that I made a joke. I stand by that without reservations.

    Calm yourself down brother. I am really surprised!

    Frankly, you didn’t say anything that threatens me or anyone. It’s been a pleasure to interact with a reasonable person like you. You’re one of a kind. You do not insult when you disagree with me. You approached me with a unique quality of gentility displayed.

    I will put this to you as a challenge. Write, criticize, agree and disagree as you did. If you desist from doing what you did, I will conclude that you are extremely incandescent. In the name of Jesus, I will do whatever I can to show that a joke was intended when I made that comment.

    Come on Blamah! Get to work. Be real. Change yourself from being infuriated over a joke! I promise I will never ever joke you anymore. Never. I don’t know Brigit, but I joke him by referring to him as “Brig”. He’s a cool guy. That’s how you were perceived by me. No more jokes!
    Petarus Dolo is like my younger brother. I refer to him as “an apologist”.

    Without going a mile, you’ve got a challenge.
    Best of all, Jesus knows where my heart is.

    Peace

  13. Grand Frere Hney,

    The well-known apologist agreed with everything you said, and he still agrees with every point you made. He has NVERE changed, he’s still the same Petarus Dolo, staunch advocate for probity and decency, in every capacity, in Liberia; hence his support for the ANC and his “demigod” Cummings.

    However, know that I love reading from some Liberian intellectuals. Mr. Price’s rebuttal or disagreement to your point was so comprehensive, well-articulated and logically reasoned that left me ecstatically amused. I had to congratulate him for the level of brilliance he exhibited.

    Again, this is what I wrote: “Price, oh Price, good defense of your position”.

    By the way, allow me to invite you, Comrade Hney, to begin to write some texts for Liberia. Your writings can be adopted to any Lexile’s measures. We need Liberians to write textbooks for Liberia.

    In the same way, I would equally like to invite Mr. Price to do likewise. I don’t know if you studied law but if you did not, it’s unfortunate. If you did, Liberia needs you in our judicial system. You are a witty thinker.

    We need to congratulate the Daily Observer for this space. It has shown some of us that all is not lost in the Liberian society. There are still brains out there to lead Liberia to prosperity.
    To those of you who do not want to abandon the war tune and behavior, it’s high time you count yourselves among Liberians of substance.
    It’s better to keep quiet if you cannot say anything constructive than to engage in vituperations. Some of those you insult may be your bosses or your children’s bosses. The world is a small place, live life meaningfully to please your Heavenly Father!

    Bravo again, Price! Like Hney, I love reading from you.

  14. Thanks very much brother Dolo.

    It’s always a pleasure to read your comments. Frankly, I read nearly everything you write. I read your comments more than anyone else’s. I have tried, but to no avail to bring you out during weekends. Without your comments during weekends, the comments section becomes non-enjoyable. I am speaking for myself.

    Maybe for weekends, I will encourage Price and Brig to write comments. Hopefully before this week ends, comrade Price will calm down. I am on my knees praying for that. With regard to Brig, I know what to do. The trick is that I am not too far from his state. So I will go there to urge him to write”weekend” comments.

    Dolo, I may not agree with everything you write, but you are a good guy….. (I am sorry, I meant to say an apologist).

    Look buddy, you’re right. Liberia needs to move on. The problems that exist in Liberia are enormous. Some people are saddled in their comfort zones. Because of that, they’re opposed to any meaningful change. I call them the “status quo” people. Regardless of them, we’ve got to keep pushing.

    Hang in there.
    Go to Youpugon today to get your groceries. No gigba today. Thanks.

  15. Big Brother Hney,

    You once told me that when you are family man, it’s not a snapshot to take some decisions. True, as a family man, I spend the weekend with the family to ensure the children are doing well in school, interact and sometimes go outing with them. With the COVID-19, I must create activities to keep close and keep them busy.
    I disconnect from the internet during weekends, sorry for that.

    However, know that Mr. Price is not really angry with you. You are not really understanding him. he’s a good guy too. I expect him to reply you soon.

    Salutations, mon vieux!

  16. Beyond any shadow of doubts, nobody can convince me that you don’t truly love our country. If you did not, then why would you spend so much of your precious time chipping in so many invaluable suggestions as to how to fix our broken system?

    You do, I do, and so other folks like Paterus and the other gallant men who also put time aside from their busiest schedules to address many of the burning issues which afflict our society today.

    Sorry Hney, and if I came across like an individual who does not accept humor then I say sorry again. Overall I am jovial and lighthearted because life is too short to live it too hard brother.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity just like you did with Paterus, when you first met him on the internet, for me to likewise get to know you too.

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