Liberia: ‘Jail Them for Many Years’ -Sen. Teahjay Speaks on Sinoe County Incident of Violence against Women

Sinoe County Senator Milton Teahjay

Monrovia Sinoe County Senator Milton Teahjay is calling for the long-term incarceration of men linked to whipping and stripping naked women in Numopo for what was termed as witchcraft and the burning of a lady’s private part in Grisby Farm in Sinoe by a ‘Country Devil.’ 

Report by Lisa T. Diasay

Few weeks ago, a damning video of two women being whipped and naked by some men, saturated social media and claimed the attention of the world while some local authorities have condemned the act. The burning of a lady’s private part by a country devil accordingly was based on traditions of the town.

Sen. Teahjay has condemned the acts in totality terming it as barbaric, which he considered as the sad for women to be publicly disgraced. “I can’t even define if Sinoe as a county and Liberia deserves better than what it is experiencing at the moment. So where are we heading with such barbaric act?”

He urged for a safe environment where women and children can live, free of violence and intimidation from societal and traditional issues.

“The incident in Grisby Farm has crossed tradition and the law must take its course. I don’t support the release of any individual involved in such act because in tradition, there are fines levied against violators”.

He further recommended that there is a need to strengthen the legal system of the country entirely and punish those using traditions to humiliate women and other people with long jail sentences, which will serve as deterrent for future occurrences.

“The absence of political authority in the county often leads to miscarriages of justice and the years I served as Superintendent for the County, Grisby Farm was a hotspot for crimes so more needs to  be done”.

Sen. Teahjay has, however, commended the County Attorney for taking hold of the matter and maintaining calm in the county since those violent incidents against women took place. “We have been getting report that the County Attorney is under serious political tension to release those men which is wrong for the adherence of the rule of law and the County Attorney must remain firm on this matter”.

It can be recalled that fire was placed on a woman’s private part in Grisby Farm, who refused her husband in bed and ran out for safety while in the process her lappa dropped in the open. This caused the devil to request her private part be burned as tradition demands. Reports came in that police officers who went to restore calm were mobbed and are currently admitted at the Greenville Hospital.

The actions by the men linked to the two incidents came at the time the world is celebrating the International Women’s Day with its focus on fighting gender inequality and recognizing strides women have made over the years. This year’s global theme: Think Equal, Build Smart, and Innovate for change”, with Liberia National theme: Gender Equality for Innovative Change. Despite the strides made locally to enact laws to defend and protect the rights of women, especially the passage of the Rape Law, the Land Rights act, Liberian Women continue to face gender inequality, SGBV, abuses and discriminations.