“Decentralize Criminal Court “E”

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-NCSCL Recommends; Calls For National Dialogue

By R. Joyclyn Wea:j.wea@newrepublicliberia.com

Amidst the hike in sexual and gender base violence cases especial rape, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) is calling for the decentralization of Criminal Court “E” across the Country so as to ensure speedy adjudication of rape cases.

Speaking with reporters on 12th street in Sinkor, the group through its chairperson, Madam Loretta Aletha Poke-Kai believes that the decentralization of criminal court “E” will also help reduce the overcrowdedness of prison centers which are a result of delay in the prosecution of rape cases, a violation of the rights of pre-trial detainees.

Madam Poke-Kai further called on the Ministry of Gender Children, Social Protection to stage a national policy dialogue on the approved ‘Anti-Rape Road Map’ as well as a joint stakeholders dialogue that will path the way for a national dialogue between leaders of the NCSCL and the government of Liberia focusing on stakeholders revision and the setting up of a timeline to defeat the increase of rape, prosecution and national unity.

Accordingly; the NCSCL chairperson calls for speedy implementation of the President’s pronouncement regarding the purchasing of two DNA machine as well as training of technical and decentralization of the machines and those trained. She continues “Provision of specialized and technical capacity for lawyers and judiciary staff (judges) in sexual and gender base violence especially rape case.”

Though the group applauds President George M. Weah for the support toward the fight of SGBV by mandating the Minister of Finance Development and Planning to purchase two DNA machines and endorsing the Anti Rape Roadmap developed by MGCSP and CSO; it has equally condemned excessive force used against peaceful protesters under the just ended match for justice.

Currently; the number of rape cases is being put at 978 brutally administered on women between the ages 2 and above. NCSCL condemned the unprecedented rise in SGBV cases recounting the unbearable long-term impacts it has on deceased and surviving victims.

Poke-kai bewailed “We condemn this barbaric, uncivilized and intolerant crime. We have met key stakeholders and have made a strong case for the urgent interventions of all actors so that we deal with this matter collectively. Sadly though, we have observed that for whatever reasons, rape cases are being compromised and it seems perpetrators are not getting the desired deterrent to abate this menace.”

On the issue of the referendum, Poke-Kai said there are also worrisome signs of misinterpretation or misinformed judgment in the public space around the pending referendum as it regards tenure of a sitting President which she thinks if not adequately cleared could lead to confusion and have a negative impact on the entire process.

Poke-kai therefore called on the Government, NEC and other actors to begin serious engagement, negotiations, preparations and dialogue that will pave the way for massive civic voters’ education throughout the country on the essence, interpretation, benefits, advantages and disadvantages of the referendum including the importance to have a free, fair and transparent election.

The referendum she indicated borders on the peace and future stability that needs to be handle with importance.

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