The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Liberia, Cllr. Christiana Tah, says rape is more than a crime because it is an act that affects its victims.
The Attorney General made the statement during the weekend when she met with top brass of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and front line commanders of the Women and Children Protection Unit of the Police along with a representative of the Ministry of Gender in Monrovia.
In her opening statement Cllr Christiana Tah said the issue of rape must be taken seriously by officers of the Liberia National Police in other to have the alleged perpetrators prosecuted by state prosecutors in the court.
Cllr Tah said Rape is more than a crime because according to her, after the act, the victims will carry the scar throughout their life or sometimes die from the act or never become mothers in their life span.
Attorney General Tah warned police officers through their top brass never to compromise rape cases for any reasons because rape is crime against the whole world.
Cllr. Tah said, “If police officers have never done well in their whole profession, they should now start by not asking any rape victim parents for money before looking into their cases or even going on the crime scene.”
The Justice Minister then urged the public to cooperate with the police in other to weed out those she called heartless men in the communities.
Minister Tah later asked the officers to tell her the problem facing them in the fight against rape and told them that such meeting was going to be on a regular basis.
From the Gender Ministry, Deputy Minister, Annett Kiawo, said that there are many challenges from the Ministry and that some community members are not willing to come forth to testify in some of the cases.
Minister Kiawo said there was a need for a community outreach to educate community members on how to report rape cases to police and how to preserve evidences so that the state lawyers can go to court well prepared.
She then pledged the Ministry’s support in fighting rape legally.
For his part, the Inspector General of Police, Chris Massaquoi told the Attorney General that he has already passed an order that should not compromise rape cases or extort money from any rape victim’s parents to start their cases.
The police boss stated that his men are ready to go extra mile of their normal work to have rape victims get justice. He said the forensic lab of the police is at least equipped to a level than four years ago to help prosecutors get evidence to take to court.
Also speaking at the occasion one of the prosecutors at the sexual gender base violence unit of the Justice, Minister Cllr. George Saygbeh, said the unit has resolved not to allow any wavier from any parents of rape victims anymore.
Cllr. Saygbeh who is the deputy head of the unit urged the public to give the police chance to do their investigation in rape cases because if the police rush with their work, the prosecutors will go to court without good evidence against the alleged rapists.
Some participants in the meeting asked Minister Tah to invite the Health Ministry officials and the Judiciary to such a meeting next time.