WONGOSOL Decries Increased Killings Of Women, Others, Without Justice
The Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) has expressed regret over the increased killings of women and girls without fair judicial trial and justice for survivors and victims.
WONGOSOL’s statement comes in the face of the fact that, in spite of the economic and social strides in Liberia, women and girls still face significant acts of violence and ritualistic killings, a deeply entrenched structural problem, skills disparities and harmful practices that have kept gender inequality unacceptably high for qualified Liberian women.
According to them, the low representation of women in leadership positions, discriminating governance concerns and policy uncertainty, have weighed on confidence and growth of the judicial system which is a human rights issue today.
The WONGOSOL statement noted that this, in line with its institutional mandate to protect and promote the rights of women and girls as well as advocate for equal and affordable access to justice and the promotion of transparency and accountability, WONGOSOL is concerned about the ungainly self-denial of Liberian women and girls’ Constitutional rights to “life” that have been shifted to alleged perpetrators’ protection over a period, which it finds unlawful and illegal and a violation of human rights.
The reality is a discrepancy shows a clear inequity of how the rights of women and girls, as well children, are violated every day in Liberia.
The Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia, in its statement made specific reference to cases of deaths flagged, including the late Princess Cooper, a 2-year-old baby raped to death resulting into the death of a woman, Blessing Moulton, who caught the perpetrator in the act, Baby Girl Brent of Kakata, Margibi, Eliza Roberts of Maryland, Hawa of Cape Mount, Odell Sherman of Montserrado, Ma Nowah of Johnsonville, Gifty Asmah Lama, among many other cases of rape and other forms of violence perpetrated against the women and children of Liberia.
WONGOSOL then recommended the establishment of a process of accountability to conduct prompt and impartial investigation of the unusual deaths of Princess Cooper and others and also ensure the independence and expertise of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Judiciary for survivors’ access to justice, due process and fair trial that guarantees witness protection.
They want government to ensure that all alleged perpetrators of gross human rights violations are prosecuted and, if found guilty, convicted and punished in accordance with the gravity of the acts committed, regardless of their status or any domestic legislation on immunity.
WONGOSOL further called on government to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of everyone against any violence, threats, retaliation, adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of rights referred to in the UN Declaration. The statement called for the provision of an impartial and open inquiry to determine what happened and bring to justice all those suspected of criminal responsibility; as well, repeal the law so that capital punishment is measured for heinous crimes, such as death for death (anyone who commits a crime where death occurs, the perpetrator as well faces justice by death).