Human Rights advocate hides for campaigning against women’s liking in Sierra LeoneMarch 24, 2011
Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya
A group of traditional women are presently in search of a man who they alleged have used some abusive languages and launched a campaign to speak against the bondo secret society known as female circumcision in the country. The head of the Conscious Family in Sierra Leone, Mr. Hindwa Emmanuel Saidu will probably not tell the story in a positive way if he is spotted by these so-called women. He is presently on hiding for fear of being prosecuted and mobbed by some of the women in Freetown for a crime they say allegedly accusing their association of campaign against their secret society (Female Genital Mutilation). It could be recalled that few months back, the Conscious Family launched a campaign with the theme “say no to Bondo” in the capital city of Freetown.
Some African countries have criminalize the act of female mutilation or circumcision but Sierra Leone is yet to undergo such process and the Child Right Act of 2007 did not prevent girls to be circumcised. The human right association believes forcefully taking children under the ages of 18 without their consent for female genital mutilation is against the practice of human right and wanted such thing to be abolished in Sierra Leone. In the past, especially in the Eastern part of the country where such female circumcision is rapidly practice, there have been cases of consequential body pains and deaths due to the practice of female child circumcision in this part of the country. In the Western Area, there are many communities where female circumcision is rampant and most of these women do not want it to be mentioned in the media neither the police. The Sierra Leone Police is afraid to handle cases of female circumcision fearing not to be accused of being on the negative side of tradition.
In March 2011, a group of assailant believed to be hired by the Bondo women has attacked the residence of Mr. Hindwa with his family. Mr. Hindwa and his family managed to escape with the assistance of some good neighbors but as to press time, his way about have not been clear. Pa. Santigie, a family member of Mr. Hindowa confirmed rumors that his brother has not seen his family members since he was chased out of his residence in March.
Investigations carried out by this reporter indicate that the Bondo women has vowed to pursue Mr. Hindwa Emmanuel Saidu and if they catch him, they will teach him a bitter lesson he will never forget till the end of his life.
The human right organizations in the country have no binding or legal instrument which they must use to fight against this practice in the country. Condemning female circumcision in Sierra Leone is a taboo which no one else should even venture to talk about and even the government or political leaders will never think of legislating laws to cut down such practice because they are thinking of not being voted for in subsequent elections.