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GeneralLiberia news

‘’Completely regrettable’’

-Cllr. Dempster Brown terms alleged sexual harassment at INCHR

By Lincoln G. Peters 

The Chairperson of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights Cllr. Dempster Brown has described the alleged sexual assault and harassment by Commissioner Mohammed Fahnbulleh as completely regrettable.

Receiving and responding to a petition from the Student University Party (SUP) through its Women Presidium politburo, Thursday, February 16, 2023, at the INCHR in Sinkor, Cllr. Brown said the institution is an integrity institution, therefore, commissioners and employees of the INCHR must behave as people of integrity.  

‘’ I must commend you for your concern. This institution is an integrity institution, and we must behave as people with integrity. But it’s regrettable for the situation this institution finds itself in.

And so, your petition will be taken into immediate consideration. I will inform the president today about your concern. Finally, I like to say thank you for coming’’ he concluded.

Recent media reports have alleged that Mr. Mohammed Fahnbulleh, a commissioner of the INCHR allegedly molested and humiliated Madam Beatrice Wesseh, an employee of the said institution.

Mr. Fahnbulleh was investigated by an Independent Panel of Civil Society for sexual exploitation and abuse of human rights and molestation. The Independent Panel in their investigation conducted rendered commissioner Fahnbulleh guilty of the entire allegation levied against him.

But Commissioner Fahnbulleh had since denied the allegations and discarded the investigative finding on grounds that he doesn’t have confidence and trust in the investigation panels.

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Early Thursday morning, female militants of the Student Unification Party (SUP) through its women Presidium politburo led several women and girls at the head office of INCHR.

The female militants who were also escorted by few men from the student community were dressed in their khaki and white with a position statement chanting slogans and demanding the immediate dismissal and removal of Commissioner Fahnbulleh over the alleged sexual harassment.

Reading the group statement, Cd Bendu Kamara, Secretary General of the Women Presidium politburo, said they were calling on President George M. Weah to remove commissioner Fahnbulleh.

 ‘’ We will not tolerate such a man whose quest to abuse women has become a tradition. Mr. Chairperson, this is just a tip of the iceberg. Our coming back here will be a different case if this position is not heeded. We believed and have thought that this commission would be the last hope for all Liberians. Women groups in Liberia see this commission as the last place for their concerns and protection to be guaranteed as per the mandate on which the commission was created in 2005’’ Ms. Kamara pointed out.

Ms. Kamara noted that the commissioner after being found guilty continue to sit at the INHRC presiding over decision that was supposed to protect women’s and human rights, something she termed as gross disrespect and demand the board of commissioners acts immediately on the matter and ensure that Mr. Fambullah is removed as commissioners.

The young female advocate pointed out that keeping commissioner Fambullah at the commission clearly indicates that the commission is now a serious tank of discrimination against women, children and the marginalized.

“This commissioner will be rendered lazy of not having the moral standing anymore to question national government when our rights are violated. Imagine, having a commissioner who harasses, insults and sexually abuses women still sitting as a commissioner at the institution. Mr. Chairperson, what is more, surprising to us is that there are women commissioners here who have refused to act’’ she noted.

‘’Finally, we want to call on our international partners not to do business with Commissioner Mohammed Fambulleh because he has crossed the boundary. His last Facebook post which we have and will share with the various embassies has violated the finding of the civil society about him. Commissioner Fambuklleh is a sexual predator who has not been placed in any integrity institution’’ she alleged.

Meanwhile, let it be made clear here that Commissioner Fahnbulleh has repeatedly denied these charges and has questioned the investigative committee’s findings while calling for due process to clear his name.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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