Reckless Brutality Against Peaceful Women, Children -MOJA Describes State Security Violence Against Protestors

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The violence meted against peaceful anti-rape protestors by the Liberia National Police on Thursday August 27, 2020 has claimed the attention of the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), with the decades-old rights groups condemning the state security’s reckless brutality against women and children during their three-day peaceful protest staged to draw state actors’ attention to the rampant rape in Liberia.

According to a Tuesday September 1, 2020 press release from the Secretariat of the Movement for Justice in Africa, MOJA condemned in no uncertain terms the violent disruption of the petitioners’ protest on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by armed thugs of the Police Support Unit (PSU) and other security apparatuses against the marchers.

“Rape has become a national human rights emergency, mainly against women and children, including babies. Given the kinds of cases that have emerged lately against children, as young as three years old, all blatantly violated by men, old and young, something for which women and men of conscience could no longer sit supinely without letting the world know, MOJA says the protest was timely and necessary to stand a strong signal to all depraved men to stop their barbaric acts,” the release stated.

Organized by The Affiliation of Women and Child Rights Advocates, the protest came right after reports had unveiled the raping of babies and in one distasteful and outrageous case, a man using a razor blade on the private part of a three-year-old girl to rape her.

“MOJA says freedom of movement and assembly are rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Liberia; hence, the Weah regime has no excuse for the wanton police brutality meted out against the peaceful protesters,” the group noted.

The Movement further stated its disappointment at the lukewarm remarks by President George Weah, “which virtually reveals his indifference to this cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment of our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, thereby giving the impression that he ordered or approved the brutal actions of the security forces against peaceful protesters, while he watched the scenes gleefully on live videos from the comfort of his home”.

MOJA therefore called on the government to always exercise restraint whenever any groups of citizens assemble to seek redress from the Government of Liberia.

“Tolerance of opposing views and restraint in the use of force against peaceful protesters are necessary elements for successful democratic governance. President Weah and officials of his government must always remember that disagreement is central to democracy,” MOJA cautioned.

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