Prison Fellowship Laments Delay in Prosecuting SGBV Cases in Liberia
Monrovia – A local non-governmental organization, Prison Fellowship Liberia has criticized trials of Sexual Gender Base Violence cases in Liberia, noting there are delays in trial of perpetrators.
Report by Willie N. Tokpah – [email protected]
The fellowship has released statistics on SGBV related cases revealing that 68 pre-trial perpetrators have been sentenced out 350 at the Monrovia Central Prison.
During a power point presentation at the weekend in Monrovia, Prison Fellowship Executive Director Rev. Francis Kollie said the alleged perpetrators of various crimes are serving different terms depending on the gravity of the crimes committed.
Rev. Kollie said the statistics covers the period from February to July 2017 and intended to assist the government and other relevant partners to fast track cases involving SGBV and rape related cases.
“This statistics consider information collected from the Liberia National Police and the courts on complaints forwarded to the police and then to the judiciary,” Kollie said.
He added that the exercise was carried out by its monitors in the field.
Rev. Kollie attributed most of the lapses to probably the lack of robust action taken by relevant actors and inconsistencies in the governance system.
The Prison Fellowship head emphasized that key national actors must show more commitment to the efforts made by institutions assisting in the fight against SGBV and other cases.
“We need to keep the advocacy current and burning in our quest to tackle SGBV in our country,” Rev. Kollie averred.
Representatives from the Crime Unit of the Liberia National Police, the Judiciary and Gender Ministry SGBV Division were also at the meeting with partners.
Speaking on the background of the Justice Sector Project, Rev. Kollie said it is an Italian based group and its objective is to collect accurate data to buttress the efforts of the government and other partners tackling SGBV.
According to Rev. Kollie, the Justice Sector Project has been in Liberia for the last two years working with Prison Fellowship Liberia, JPC and others key partners, noting the JSP is aimed at strengthening the justice system and the rule of law programs in the country.
Rev. Kollie noted the latest SGBV Statistics report as well as recommendations from stakeholders will be submitted to the Ministry of Justice, Gender, Judiciary, and Health among others for necessary action.
He believes a speedy trial of these perpetrators would create a fair justice system for victims and their alleged whose fate remain uncertain.