By Mohamed T. Massaquoi
Police have confirmed the death of a 12-year old girl, an alleged victim of a gang rape in southern Sierra Leonean district of Pujehun, a hotbed of sexual violence.
Officials at the Family Support Unit (FSU) of the Sierra Leone Police in the district said Mamie died in the Bo Government Hospital in neighboring Bo District. She was allegedly gang raped by a group of three men, the police say.
The police told Politico that the matter was first reported in February this year.
The incident is reported to have occurred in Mano Wolo Village in the Malen Chiefdom, about 12 miles from the district headquarter town of Pujehun.
Pujehun FSU boss, Sergeant Lahai Koroma said that after investigations three suspects were identified and the matter was charged to the Pujehun Magistrate court. Two of the suspects - George Mewa (22) and Munda Jabbie (19) - were on remand at the Pujehun prison, he said, adding that the third had been on the run since.
The suspects are said to be relatives - uncles - of the deceased. They were charged on two counts of sexual penetration and “meeting a child for sexual purpose”.
Pujehun has always been a hotbed of sexual violence against women and girls, with little attention from political leaders and district authorities. Campaigners in the town blame the reticence on some of the authorities having been once named in a similar offence.
Julius George Kamara, a paralegal officer with the Legal Aid Board in the district, said they had been following this matter since the incident was first reported.
“When this girl was admitted at Pujehun main government she spent three days without [them] administering drugs on her, and I had to ask the nurse in charge who told me that there were not drugs available at that time,” Kamara narrated to Politico in a telephone interview.
He also said that they discovered that the medical doctor who should have also administered treatment to the victim was out of the district.
Kamara said the victim was placed on temporary medication with the intervention of his organisation and the Ministry of Social Welfare and the charity Save the Children, but that her condition worsened forcing her referral to Bo where she died.
The District Medical Officer, Dr David Bome, confirmed the medical report indicating the girl was a victim of a gang rape. But he said when the victim was admitted nobody brought it to his notice, in an apparent response to concerns as to why the victim didn’t get prompt treatment.
Copyright (c) Politico 2017