Sinoe Women Demand Justice over ‘Violent Assaults’ of Kinswomen

5
1149
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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Mob action is outdated; it’s not a civilized way of life. Mob action should be condemned and stopped immediately. No man or woman should be ganged upon because of wrongdoing. Where are the investigative reporters? The detectives if we have them? Where are the cops?

  2. Justice in Liberia is two-tier. One is an Elite Justice system, wherein a person is guaranteed equal protection under the law, and his inalienable rights remain unassailable except in circumstances as the law may otherwise prescribe. One’s access to the elite justice system depends on either his socio-economic or socio-political status.

    The other justice system is the Jungle Justice system. This is the lot of the commoners. And they are the ones who are poor; hopeless; live on subsistence farming; jobless; illiterate; uneducated, have no political clout, and face the stark realities of daily life.

    Unfortunately, because the three women victims find themselves in the latter situation, justice has either been denied them or slow to come. Worst still, a factor that militates against them, is the fact that Liberia is still largely a patriarchal (mail dominant) society. And so a female’s position in this society is subsumed by the male’s dominant role.

    Notwithstanding, the dilemma that they face is not of their own making; it is wrought on them by the grand design of a political system that has kept its own people underdeveloped, and kept them subjugated to hardcore exploitation decades after decades.

  3. Thanks to modern technology. We are just now, getting an insight of trial by ordeal; where/when judgement against the accused person is rendered before the so called trial. This incident in Sinoe is only a tip of the iceberg. There are many more; among perhaps all of Liberia’s PEOPLES. Most happen in total secrecy. Once a person is accused, their fate is sealed. Most times, it’s DEATH. That’s how my[own] father met his fate. When mother died of a natural cause, her uncle who was a “ZOE(high priest)” in the PORO-SOCIETY society accused our father of CAUSING our mother’s death. How Untruth! Two years after our mother death, her uncle-the ZOE organized one of his “PORO COURTS” and summoned our father to judge him for the death of our mother. That was the end of our [OWN] father’s LIFE. We never saw our father again. Not even his DEAD-BODY. How sad! Today, the pain of our father’s death is still in my “HEART” and will always be; until my-own death. Let it be 👌 KNOWN to all Liberians. Liberia has a very mdern and organized “LEGAL SYSTEM”. The days for “BUSH JUSTICE”, TRIALS BY ORDEAL ARE OVER. Anyone caught in that practice of trial by ordeal should face “THE FULL WEIGHT” of Liberia’s JUSTICE. The situation in Sinoe should serve as a good start.

Leave a Reply to F. S. Hney Cancel reply