MONROVIA – The Ministry of Gender has called on the Liberia Maritime Authority to immediately recall, dismiss and pursue sentencing of its officials accused of rape in South Korea.
Moses Owen Brown, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Daniel Tarr, Director of the Department of Marine Environmental Protection, were in South Korea attending the International Maritime Organization (IMO) GHG SMART Practical Training and Study Visit from September 19-23, 2022 when the alleged rape occurred.
The Ministry described the allegation as “disturbing, distressing, and a matter that goes completely against Liberia’s commitment to fighting the scourge of sexual and gender-based violence”.
The Ministry stated that Liberia has a Presidential declaration on rape as a national emergency. As such, it condemns the alleged sexual misbehaving acts by government agents and considers same as unacceptable and inexcusable.
“If confirmed, this will have the propensity to further undermine Liberia’s fight against rape and poses a setback in achieving Goal 5 of the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which highlights the urgent need to end violence and exploitation of women and girls,” the Ministry stated.
The Ministry appreciated LiMA for reaffirming its’ zero-tolerance stance on any and all types of sexual and gender-based violence.
The Gender Ministry admonished all government officials and the Liberian populace at large, to be circumspect in daily interactions at home or abroad, and to continue to join hands with government in the fight against Sexual and Gender-based Violence.
Meanwhile, Browne and Tarr have been arraigned for court in the Asian country for the alleged rape.
They were both taken into police custody on Friday after the alleged victims claimed they are teenagers called the police from the two officials’ hotel room that they had been raped.
News Agencies in Korea say the alleged victims informed authorities that they are 14 and 16 years old, however, FrontPageAfrica gathered they had told the Liberian officials that they are 21 and 26 years old.
The rape allegation against the Liberian officials comes at the heels of President George Weah’s reiteration to world leaders that he is Liberia’s Feminist-in-Chief.
President Weah told the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly last Thursday that his government is working assiduously to end harmful traditional practices against women while at the same time making gender equality a top priority of his administration.
Pres. Weah said: “To this end, we have developed the legal framework; including the ratification of regional and international instruments to address gender inequalities which are being carried out as a result of socio-cultural perceptions, practices, and stereotypes that support male dominance and the subordination of women.
“I would like to inform you that my government, together with UN partners, is implementing the EU Spotlight Initiative to end violence and harmful traditional practices against women and girls, and promote their sexual and reproductive health and rights.”