Press Statement for Immediate Release
VEx condemns brute force and demands GOL to release peaceful protesters in 8 hours; calls for Min. Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr to resign or be dismissed
August 27, 2020
The Voices from Exile (VEx) has been closing monitoring social, economic, and political events in Liberia. Beyond every speck of doubt, we can safely conclude that Liberia is gradually slipping downhill into its dark past as a result of governance breakdown and heightened leadership gap.
About few hours ago, we witnessed another brutal scene between ruthless security personnel and peaceful anti-rape protesters. This is a cause for national concern because those cherished democratic values that were once enjoyed are being fiercely muzzled under footballing president George M. Weah.
The Weah-led government has set yet another record of violently clamping down on peaceful protesters who have been honestly pursing justice for rape victims amid over 900 rape cases in just 7 months. The use of legal weapons and brute force, including teargas, against peaceful and unarmed protesters is not only undemocratic but inhumane, sacrilegious, and despotic.
VEx vehemently condemns this depraved precedent and demands an immediate investigation into this tragedy and/or brutality. Protest is a fundamental right guaranteed under Chapter 3 Article 17 of our 1986 Constitution. The Weah-led government must refrain from violating this statutory proviso. Enough is enough. VEx gives GOL an 8-hour ultimatum to unconditionally release peaceful anti-rape protesters.
What happened to those anti-rape protesters about few hours ago clearly demonstrates “a complete lack of interest” on the part of President George M. Weah to fight rape and other sexual gender-based violence that continue to deprive women, girls, children, and vulnerable groups of dignity, safety, security, protection, and self-pride. It is time for justice to prevail over impunity. RAPE must end and end now!
VEx is in full solidarity with all rape victims and anti-rape advocates, including protesters, who are very concerned about a safe and secured country for women, girls, children, and vulnerable citizens to strive and maximize their full potential. The real crisis that we are confronted with right now isn’t COVID-19 but RAPE. The alarming rate of rape is vexingly unimaginable. Pres. Weah who often calls himself “Feminist-in-Chief” must now take some concrete steps like his counterpart in Sierra Leone.
The rise in rape cases can also be attributed to poor leadership and the lack of proper mechanisms. Min. Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr of MGCSP has proven widened ineptitude in her role/post as Minister. She has limited knowledge on gender issues because her real background is in political leadership. VEx therefore calls for her immediate resignation or dismissal.
There is crisis everywhere in Liberia and in almost all sectors. The CDC-led government seems to have no solution after almost 3 years. Instead, it has resorted to dictatorial tendencies and thuggish precedents. We call on our international partners, including UN, AU, ECOWAS, MRU, EU, US Embassy, et al, to help rescue Liberia from this national nightmare. May God save Liberia from this dual pandemic (RAPE and COVID-19).
Done and Sealed on this 27th Day of August, A.D. 2020, in Exile.
Signed: Martin K. N. Kollie
Liberian Activist and Chief Convener
Voices from Exile (VEx)
WhatsApp: +231 776572334
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