“Unflinching Support for Capital Punishment”

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President Weah expressed how disturbed he was over the uncalled-for rise in rape and SGBV cases in Liberia and called for widespread actions across the country that will nip the crime in the bud

… for those violating minors, President Weah declares

Barely three days after Rev. Dr. Simeon L. Dunbar, National Orator of this Year’s Independence Day celebration, joined Maj. Gen. Prince C. Johnson, III, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), requesting the government to reintroduce death penalty for rapists as a means of drastically reducing the harmful act against women and girls across Liberia, a press release from the Executive Mansion says that President George M. Weah has “disclosed his unflinching support for capital punishment for those violating minors”.

According to the BBC Ethics Guide, Capital punishment is the practice of executing someone as punishment for a specific crime after a proper legal trial. It can only be used by a state, so when non-state organizations speak of having ‘executed’ a person they have actually committed a murder.

It may be recalled that both Gen. Johnson and Rev. Dunbar, in separate statements, declared that because of the alarming number of rape cases involving minors, perpetrators should face capital punishment as a means to curtail the harmful act.

Rev. Dunbar used his platform as National Independence Day Orator, in the presence of President George M. Weah, the 54th legislature, government ministers, and Liberia’s international partners to call for the death penalty to be reintroduced for rapists.

According to an Executive Mansion’s release, President Weah at an arranged meeting on rape and other sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) crimes against women and girls across the country, vowed to act decisively against perpetrators and disclosed his unflinching support for capital punishment for those violating minors.

“With an increasing spike of rape and other sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) crimes against women and girls in the country, the President of Liberia, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, has stepped up his focus and attention to tackle the surging pandemic,” the release said.

Weah said as the Country’s Feminist-In-Chief, in recent years, and even during the COVID-19 situation, Liberia has seen an unprecedented spike in rape and other SGBV-related cases, something that has attracted his attention.

He, therefore, convened a meeting of line ministries of government and partners on SGBV affairs Wednesday, July 29, 2020, not only to discuss a way forward but also to give appropriate instructions that will get everyone fighting against the debilitating practice on the frontline.

During the meeting, President Weah expressed how disturbed he was over the uncalled-for rise in rape and SGBV cases in Liberia and called for widespread actions across the country that will nip to the bud the unacceptable frequency of sexual gender-based violence against women, including children as young as under two years.

“As President of Liberia, it is my responsibility to lead all efforts to address social and societal irregularities and threats that befall our people or any segment of it. I have stated frequently as Feminist-in-Chief that I have zero tolerance for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and I mean it,” the release quoted President Weah.

He instructed the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce to put into place a technical team that comprises relevant stakeholders who will regularly discuss, consult and provide concrete and enforceable roadmap on enhancing the fight against SGBV and to submit to him their findings as promptly as possible for decisive actions.

Geeplaye Nyenswah, a Political Activist, said he is fully in support of the death penalty for those that curly sexually abusing minors for reasons best known to them and damaging the future of those kids.

“I am to support the AFL Chief Staff General Prince C. Johnson statement calling for the death sentence to those who are rapists of infants. This is not good for our beloved country Liberia an amendment should be made in our rape law,” he expressed.

The Secretary-General of the Civil Society Human Rights Platform, Adama K. Dempster, has said that while it is true they are concerned about the high wave of reported rape cases and further molestations of women and girls, they are not in support of death penalty for those that sexually abuse women.

Dempster said given the nature of the role of the human rights community, they are working to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

He recounted that on 22 July 2008, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, assented to a bill that amended the 1976 Penal Code by providing that death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole shall be imposed on an offender who, during the commission of the crimes of terrorism or hijacking or armed robbery, causes the death of his victim.

Author

  • Hannah N. Geterminah is a 2016 graduate of the Peter Quaqua School of Journalism with diploma and series of certificates in journalism from other institutions. She has lots of knowledge/ experience in human interest, political, Health, women and children stories. Hannah has worked with the Daily Observers Newspaper and the Liberian media for the past years and has broken many stories. Contact reporter; [email protected] WhatsApp;0770214920

4 COMMENTS

  1. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Hadi ha ha ha ha ! And so once upon a time. There was once a called President Tolbert. Just like the present President called George who is Pastor and President and called Dr. and his Excellency, the President called Tolbert had almost the same credentials, both politically and religiously. Both men as Presidents experienced some troublesome times to please their citizens looking out for social justice against high level of crimes and heinous criminal activities against society. Tolbert as President under the leadership of his regime, had citizens sent to the ATS tied up and flogged them publicly for all to see, for stealing. What kind of legal justice they received, Tolbert was just fed up with the stealing , so were the citizens. But it did not stop the kind of stealing or governmental stealing that went on in his regime. O well, the rest is history. As this once a upon time story continues, it was reported that another President by the name of President Samuel Doe, he too had nearly the same political credentials as the other two, but was never known to be a preacher of Pastor. Don’t know why, maybe he just was not interested as the other two. But it was alleged that he too used to flog his officials publicly( hear say evidence). And as recent as this year, a known Representative, a well known official critic Kolubah of the President called George was accused of some criminal charges concerning a citizen that was perhaps brutally flogged. How far is that case up to now ? Is it justice delayed means justice denied ? The regime and its justice system can’t stomach the pain ? And here is the same regime which brought up charges can’t prosecute to the conclusion of its officials critic . Was it a political set up that can not be proven beyond reasonable doubt ? And here is George putting out his political notice that he is fed up with rape as a heinous crime to society, and will exercised his constitutional rights as President to execute. Just as Representative Kolubah is charged and can not have his day in court , how about the allegedly accused presidential candidate, Cummings of being homosexual or gay , if accused of such heinous crimes against a minor for political reasons ? Then what ? Of course, no one in society has ever thought about that, until that day comes. Could the fight against rape be used as political weapon ? Based on all of the above experiences, as someone said, ” This Too Is Liberia”. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Yes, this too is Liberia.

    • Good analysis!
      Just what I think. Since Weah failed to appoint a businessman at the NEC, he is on a desperate campaign to silence opposition figures by hope or crook. He has begun devising different schemes and snarls to incriminate or mudsling people of high moral probity.

      But beware Weah and thugs, Liberia is from afar. No more war in Liberia!

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