RIGHTS GROUP CONDEMNS THREATS AND CIRCUMCISION OF FELLOW MEMBER REBECCA DENNIS
–CALLS FOR END TO FGM
West Africa, Liberia-August 20, 2014: The Action Against Female Genital Mutilation in Liberia (AFGM/LIBERIA) condemns the Traditional Council of Liberia and calls on national government to provide for the protection and safety of anti-FGM advocate Rebecca Dennis, in wake of her mysterious disappearance since her life was threatened more than a fortnight ago, the rights group said in a statement released from its central office in Monrovia.Dennis, a rights activist whose brother Tom Nonny Dennis was discovered dead with parts mutilated in June 2009, has been vocal on the continuous harmful practice of female circumcision in Lower Lofa County- a region in Liberia noted for subjecting females to inhumane traditional practices such as early marriage of children to their siblings and cutting off of female genitalia for rituals.
The female advocacy group affirms this is the seventh time in two months advocates of FGM have either been threatened, harassed and intimated or have disappeared with bodies not discovered.
AFGM/LIBERIA maintains circumcision is a gross human rights abuse, violates the United Nations protocols on the rights of vulnerable people but government has made “ZERO EFFORT” in putting complete end the practice.
Rebecca was designated by her tribal shrine to marry her first cousin Flomo Dennis, and undergo the ceremony of female circumcision but she refused on grounds that it violated all forms of human rights. She was made to flee for her life and her whereabouts unknown.
“It’s unconstitutional and clear violation of the Penal Law of Liberia for any citizen or resident alien to be forced against their will to marry a family member. That’s incest and no civilized government should allow said practice”, the group reveals.
In May 2014 Rebecca was at the center of media coverage when she was reportedly raped by a family member. The Liberia National Police has since not arrested anyone linked to the crime.