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CSOs Petition Legislature

-Over Humiliation Of Women In Sinoe County

Following the reported humiliation of two women in Sinoe County, a group of civil society organizations and opinion leaders have petitioned the National Legislature to ensure that the rights and dignity of women and girls are protected and defended in the country.

Presenting the position statement to members of the House Representatives at the Capitol Building recently, the Executive Director of the National Institute for Public Opinion, Roseline T. Richards, said the group’s attention has been drawn to the reported abhorrent torture and abuse of three young Liberian women in Numopoh Clan, Kpayan District, Sinoe County.

According to Madam Richards, the acts of inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment meted against the women who were accused of practicing witchcraft, resulted into the gruesome death of one of the victims.

She alluded to similar incident in Kpayan District, where a lady and her fiancée were brutalized on accusations of breaching traditional practices and another incident in Grigsby Farm, Butaw District in Sinoe County.

Madam Richards also called on the Government through the National Legislature to relocate the victims as a means of protecting and defending their identities and ensuring confidentiality throughout the investigation, adding that the case be given a fair and speedy trial so that the victims and their families can find justice and peace and live freely afterwards.

The group is also requesting the provision of psychosocial counseling and trauma healing programs to lift the trauma and psychosocial effects of the violent act meted against the victims.

Receiving the position statement, the acting Chairman of the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus, Representative Crayton O. Duncan, commended the group for the peaceful assembly and assured that the House will support the movement of the victims, adding that the Caucus will not condone any form of violence against women in the society.

He said 90 percent of the perpetrators of the act against the three women have been arrested and the authority is still in search of the rest to bring them to justice to restore the dignity of women.

In a related development, Gbarpolu County District #2 Representative, Kanie Wesso, has called for speedy trial of those arrested for allegedly manhandling and humiliating three young women accused of practicing witchcraft in Sinoe County.

Recently, a Facebook video went viral showing three women accused of practicing witchcraft being assaulted and humiliated by a group of men in Numopoh Town, Sinoe County, Southeastern Liberia.

Several women organizations, including the Coalition of Political Party Women in Liberia (COPPWIL), as well as the office of the Vice President, among others, have since criticized the act which was confirmed by the Liberia National Police that made several arrests.

Representative Wesso, who also condemned the incident as earlier done by Sinoe County District three Representative, Jay Nagbe Sloh, said the women who were brutalized and stripped naked in the public are mothers and as such; their rights like all others must be respected.

Regardless of the nature of the allegation levied against them, Wesso believes that such humiliation of the women, one of whom died, must never be condoned in the Liberian society where women have made strides to gain their rightful place.

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