-Says AFELL, condemns inhumane treatment of women in Sinoe County
A group of lawyers organized to advocate for the promotion, protection and advancement of the rights of women, has condemned the recent inhumane treatment by citizens against two women in Sinoe County.
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.
AFFEL said news emanating from Sinoe County indicated that primitive action of perpetrators took place shortly after charges of witchcraft were leveled against the women. The incident was captured in a video, which went viral on social media. The video shows the ladies stripped naked, brutalized and paraded in public on allegations of being witches following accusations of kidnapping a baby.
AFFEL said witchcraft is not ‘prosecutable’ under Liberian laws, which is why trial by ordeal, another harmful customary practice, was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
In a statement issued Thursday, February 28, 2019, under the signature of the president, Attorney Vivian D. Neal, AFELL argued that, “It appears that some of our people are not aware that traditional and customary practices, which infringe upon the fundamental rights of individuals, for example presumption of innocence, right to security and integrity of the person, etc., are subordinate and inconsistent with the Constitution of Liberia.”
AFELL states further that the action taken against the women is a classic example of entrenched discrimination against women in society and, moreover, it highlights the fact that mob justice is still being practiced in the country.
“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.
AFFEL is a non-profit, non-governmental organization duly incorporated on February 24, 1994, under Liberian laws, with accreditation from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, with a direct response to endure advocacy for the rights and promotion for the advancement of women, children and indigent persons.