Despite the authorities’ denials, a UN human rights expert urged Liberia on Friday to look into accusations that a string of murders this year were carried out in a ritualistic manner.
Rumors of corpses discovered with body parts removed — supposedly for occult purposes — spread over the West African nation’s social media this year.
Liberian police have dismissed the majority of the reports and arrested a member of the political opposition suspected of spreading the misinformation.
Nonetheless, on Friday, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions Morris Tidball-Binz requested that Liberia’s government investigate the killings.
The independent expert indicated in a statement that at least ten people were murdered in Liberia in 2021 under mysterious circumstances, “some of which have presumably been linked to ritualistic practices.”
“Investigations should completely explore all probable explanations for these acts,” he was quoted as saying.
Ritual killings are common in Liberia, and they were common during the country’s two civil conflicts, from 1989 to 2003.
It’s thought that parts of the victim’s body were used in rituals to benefit the perpetrator.
Liberian Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue, however, indicated in September that the bulk of recent alleged occurrences are fake.
A member of the opposition party Alternative National Congress was arrested in the same month for distributing false information about ritual slayings on the internet.