Category Archives: Liberia

Controversial Practices: Trial by Ordeal in Liberia

 

VOA, 26 Oct. 2006

The practice is said to have started in Liberia many generations back, and breaking this deep-rooted cultural belief remains a challenge. Joseph Jangar is Liberia’s Assistant Minister in charge of culture at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 

“Sassywood has been practiced by the traditional people of the Republic of Liberia. They have loved (it) because they believe in it.  Whenever there is a problem in their various homes, they practice sassywood to clear their doubt.  (It) has been practiced long ago even before I was born,” he says.

 

There are various kinds of sassywood, or trial by ordeal, performed against people accused of committing crimes or who are said to be involved in witchcraft. Continue reading


Liberia’s elections, ritual killings and cannibalism

Emily Schmall and Wade Williams August 1, 2011 Global Post 
MONROVIA, Liberia — The pregnant woman was found dead in the shallows of Lake Shepherd. The fetus had been removed.

A candidate for Liberia’s Senate and a former county attorney are among those standing trial for the 2009 murder, the latest in a long history of ritual sacrifices performed for political power in Liberia.

In this case in southeastern Maryland County, prosecutors were tipped off by a witch doctor who provided a list of 18 people allegedly connected to the killing, including Fulton Yancy, the former county attorney, and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Special Envoy and Ambassador-at-Large Dan Morias. Continue reading