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…As women march for Hannah

IG promises speedy investigation

August 21, 2015 By Victoria Saffa

Hundreds of women yesterday braved the rain to march in protest of the alleged rape and murder of Hannah Bockarie on 13 August, 2015, and in solidarity with victims of domestic and sexual violence in Sierra Leone.

Dressed in black, and holding lit candles, the marchers laid wreaths at the exact same place the body of the victim was discovered at the Aberdeen beach, last week.

The women and their male allies were unanimous in their condemnation of the fatal incident and the way and manner in which social media users disseminated the nude picture of the deceased.

Angered by this apparent insensitivity, Power Women 232, Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) and a host of women’s organization vehemently condemned both the rape and murder and circulation of nude pictures of the victim.

Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu, who joined the marchers, assured activists and the bereaved relatives that he would personally take the lead in the investigation, and ensure that the suspects face the law while the deceased get justice.

“Even if she lived the life she wanted, it doesn’t mean they should rape and kill her like that. These things have not been happening in the country, but now rape cases are getting increased everyday, which is very bad; and as a Police boss I will continue to make show that rape culprit face the law,” he promised.

According to Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Moijueh KaiKai, the fight against rape was a fight for every woman and the government, adding that his ministry would lead efforts to ensure that the victim gets justice.

 “I don’t care who the deceased was, but I totally condemn what happened to her and my ministry has been raising serious concern about the rampant rape issues in the country. We have decided to give award of five million Leones to the one that will give information about the ones who kill Hannah,” he told the mourners.

Vice chair of Legal Access through Women Yearning for Equality Rights and Social Justice (LAWYERS), Lois Kawa, said there were many lapses in the Sexual Violence of Act of 2012, thus calling for DNA facility especially for rape issues in the country as it is an easy way to trap rapists.

Ms. Kawa said many women have been suffering secretly because of domestic violence and rape, and they seldom get justice. “I am therefore calling on men to stop abusing women sexually as women are mothers, caretakers and sometimes act as the head of the home,” she stated.

Meanwhile, family members of the victim, including her mother, grandfather, Uncle, and friends were yesterday in tears as Power Women 232 placed a wreath and candles at the scene where Hannah Bockarie was allegedly raped to death.

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