Women NGOs Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) expresses concern over an upward trend in mob violence over the past months, noting that of recent, there have been several reported cases of mob violence, which has resulted in the loss of lives while many others sustained serious injuries requiring hospitalization.
The Executive Director of WONGOSOL, Esther Davis Yango, says these incidents are particularly disturbing as they tend to turn those involved against individuals or security forces who attempt to intervene.
Madam Yango states that while the organization regrets all other incidents of mob violence reported and sympathizes with the victims and their families, its concern is drawn to the case of the lady who was beaten on November 13th, 2023, in Paynesville, Redlight Community, Montserrado County.
“This act is condemnable, and no one should go through this act of violence, we are following closely to ensure that she gets justice”, she adds.
The WONGOSOL boss made the statement Tuesday in Monrovia.
According to her, lately, mob violence has become a frequent occurrence in which suspects are lynched, sometimes to death, by an angry mob, including bystanders, who simply have no clue about the issue or person being attacked.
“All that is required to instigate mob violence is to shout “Rogue simply” in a crowded area and to point at somebody. Before the victim realizes what is happening, a huge crowd descends on him or her, and the consequence is instant death or severe aggravated bodily injury”, she laments.
Madam Yango notes that there have been instances where the criminals are smart enough to throw the chase away from themselves and direct the mob to an unsuspecting innocent bystander.
“An innocent person suffered because of the emotional reaction of the public who could not wait for the police to act, which is the case with our recent victim, which is condemnable and needs to be stopped!!!.”
According to her, Liberia’s law classifies violence by mobs as a crime and the law states that any person accused of committing a crime is presumed ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in a competent court that exercises appropriate jurisdiction on such matters and persons and that an accused person is entitled to bail as a constitutional right, unless in capital offenses or if the offense committed is non-bailable.
“Therefore, people must understand this and be patient to allow the system of jurisprudence to play itself out also we call on the Liberian government to intervene speedily and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book so the victim can get the justice she deserves”, WONGOSOL demands.
She calls on all Liberians to condemn this incident and all other incidents of mob violence and get involved in stopping these grave crimes that affect society, as they have a propensity to hinder and create an unsafe environment that incapacitates women and girls.
Madam Yango observes that the increase in mob violence is a result of the public’s lack of trust or confidence in the police and the judicial system, stressing that it is criminal to engage in any illegal act of justice or to lynch a person.
This is a call to action for the incoming government to ensure that the system is fixed so the citizens can start to trust and have confidence in the judiciary system and the government, she concludes. Press Statement