Liberian Woman Burns Siblings Hands For Reportedly Stealing LD$250

Monrovia - Kollie and Saah Morris, both 14-years-old, were in pains Tuesday, victims of multiple-degree burns at a local clinic after their half-sister burnt their hands.

Tewah Bundor, 30, reportedly burnt her brothers’ hands after she accused them of stealing 250.00 Liberian dollars.

The half-sister has formally been charged with aggravated assault and felonious restraint for deliberately holding and keeping the juveniles indoor against their will.

Additionally, she was charged with endangering the welfare of the brothers when she burnt their hands and locked them indoor preventing them from seeking help by the Women and Children Protection section (WACPS).

The WACPS of the LNP stated that the locking up of the children by the defendant would danger their health, growth, and lives.

The action by defendant Bundor violates section 14.20, 14.51, 16.4 of the penal laws of Liberia.

She was arrested, investigated by Police when a complainant identified as Annie Moore, 50, said the incident occurred in the early morning hours.

Another witness identified only as Demowah, reportedly informed authorities that the defendant had burnt her children’s hands and placed them behind bars.

She narrated that she quickly went to the house to establish if the issue said by her friend was real.

Demowah explained that when she went to see her friend, Garmai on April 11, 2017, in the Bernard’s Farm Community, she saw a group of women at the home of the defendant.

“When I got to Bundor house, I met women who were shocked by the form in which the children hands were because their flesh was hanging and they were crying.”

“So, we sent someone to get the area chair lady as we struggled to get the kids out. No matter how we tried, we couldn’t because we couldn’t burst the door.”

Victim Saah Morris revealed that it was April 10 at about 5:00pm when he and his sister tussled over an amount given to a man identified as Prince.

He said after which, she tried to burn his whole hands but couldn’t because he said he fought her and half of his hand was place in the boiling water.

Kollie Morris, the other victim told investigators that he was burned in his eye and when his sister put his entire hands in the boiling water.

Bundor admitted the act adding that the children stole LD$250 from her.

She narrated that the children had earlier promised that if they ever steal again their hands should be cut off. She said, she did not cut their hands off but rather burned them.

“I went for them in the village and brought them for school but they have always been stealing from me. So I got tired and burned them.”

The Liberia Children’s Law, based on the UN Convention on the rights of the Child, and the African Charter on Child Rights, was passed in 2012 by the President of Liberia.

A local child advocacy group in Liberia, Defense for Children International, DCI, says 703 child rights cases are still on the docket of Liberia’s judicial system.

DCI is calling for the adjudication of these cases after terming the delay as serious concerns.

These cases, according to DCI Executive Director Atty. Foday Kawah range from rape, child abuse and ritualistic activities against children.

In a FrontPageAfrica interview Tuesday, Kawah said most of these cases are delayed by those concerned with the matter which creates difficulties for the Ministry of Justice to fast-track the process.

Attorney Kaway named the refusal of some witnesses to testify in court and compromise cases by parties involved as two of the many factors hampering trial of rape cases in Liberia.

He also expressed concern over the delays in conducting an autopsy in the country.

“The lack of Pathologist in Liberia and equipment to conduct DNA test are some other conditions that are creating difficulties for an inquiry into cases of children who are victimized by ritualistic activities. “

“We don’t have the scientific gathering process like in the west,” said Kawah, who added that it will be a serious concern as the country heads to the 2017 election process.

The DCI boss called for a more robust approach to mitigate some of the many challenges impeding child rights and advocacy group.

Atty. Kawah says the organization remains vigorous in advocating for the rights of children especially the vulnerable ones in communities across Liberia.

According to Kawah, pressure had been mounted on the Ministry of justice to fast track cases involved with children in bringing perpetrators to justice.

“We seek to promote a peaceful and cohesive environment aimed at fostering advocacy for child survivor, participation and development in the best interest of the child,” he said.

Kawah said such approach will enhance non-discrimination, access to justice and rehabilitation of children in conflict and contact with the laws.

At the same time, Kawah says DCI will prevail on the government in ensuring that some international protocols on the protection of the rights of the child are seriously considered.

He wants government to keep its promise to uphold two international conventions which are the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Chapter on the Welfare and Rights of the Child.

These conventions support the protection of children’s rights.

Some instruments that prohibit the act by defendant Bundor include the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Children and the African Chapter of the Rights and welfare of Children.

Report by Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo,

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