Tuesday, February 12, 2008

FIDA to the rescue

FIDA rescues women from trial by ordeal

The Ghanaian Times, Tuesday, February 12, 2008. Page 3 (News)

Abdul Majeed

But for the timely intervention of the police and the Northern regional Coordinator of Federation of International Women Lawyers Association (FIDA), a woman who had been branded a witch would have been lynched. Anger by the intervention, the youth of Gberimani, a farming community in the Tolon/Kumbungu District, attacked the FIDA official, Saratu Mahama, and destroyed her vehicle.

The woman, Fati Adam, 52, had been accused of bewitching a young man who died in the village recently. The youth dragged her to the chief’s palace and held her for three days without food, while taking her through some painful rituals to force her to confess.

Narrating her ordeal to the Times here yesterday, Fati said, “but for the timely intervention of the police I would have been a dead person by now.” She said for three days she was kept in the chief’s palace, the youth lashed her with a bicycle chain. At a point hey threatened to kill her if she did not confess that she killed the man. Her claim of innocence infuriated them the more.

Ms Mahama confirmed the story saying the youth nearly burnt her car. She recaleed that a good Samaritan from the village reported the matter to her office and she in turn reported it to the Tamale Police who detailed three policemen to accompany her to the scene. Ms Mahama said as soon as they got to the scene, the youth attacked them and smashed the windscreen of her vehicle.

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