PLEEBO, Maryland – Police in Maryland’s Pleebo Sodoken Statutory District have arrested a 35-year-old woman for poisoning and killing her nine-year-old daughter, Toane Thompson.
The police said Oretha Thompson committed the act on September 4 in a village called Gbanmeken in the Rock town Conakry area of Andersonville Township.
Thompson, who has several other children, confessed to killing her daughter, but said her action was due to the disgrace the victim brought to the family through her witchcraft activities.
She told The Bush Chicken in an interview while in police detention that in July this year, her daughter was accused of killing two persons in Pleebo’s New Georgia community through witchcraft activities. Thompson said she wanted the family to have a free character.
The victim had been brought by her father to apologize to Thompson for the “shame” when the mother decided to take action.
“I was vexed and ashamed as well, so I put raccoon medicine that I bought from Ivory Coast in fufu and gave it to her so that she can eat the fufu and die,” Thompson confessed.
Police have charged Oretha Thompson with murder and the release of destructive forces, which are first and second-degree felonies, respectively. She is presently at the Harper Central Prison after been forwarded to the Gedetarbo Magisterial Court for trial.
The victim has been buried after a 15-member jury established that the girl had died from the raccoon medicine she had consumed.
The girl’s father, Budu Thompson, told The Bush Chicken that he regrets his wife’s action and does not understand what caused her to behave in such manner.
“I am hurt and regretting because my daughter is no more,” he said. “Though she was accused of killing two persons in Pleebo, my wife’s action was not the solution to the problem. My daughter is dead and will never be seen, but I am looking up to the government to see what they will do in this matter.”
Meanwhile, the regional coordinator of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Thomas Mawolo, has condemned Oretha Thompson’s action.
Mawolo said his office and other civil society organizations in the county will closely follow the matter in court to ensure that justice is dispensed properly.
In April 2018, a 14-year-old suffered severe burns to his neck after being accused of using witchcraft to cause a protracted illness to his father.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has previously highlighted the need for the government to do more to discourage harmful traditional practices and beliefs.
A 2015 report noted that “accusations of witchcraft are common in Liberia, and often have devastating consequences for the accused, who may be subjected to trial by ordeal, ‘cleansing’ or ‘exorcism’ rituals, expulsion, ostracization, and even death.” The report noted that the accusations disproportionately target children and women.
From 2012 to 2015, the report recorded 31 cases in which at least 214 individuals were accused of witchcraft, 40 percent of whom were children. The report noted that 132 of the accused were allegedly subjected to trial by ordeal and “cleansing” rituals.
Featured photo by George Momo