Deadly Hunt for Isha Bassie

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A couple of family members told our reporter that the Bondo women may have kidnapped and secretly killed their relative, who offended them by leading an anti-FGM campaign in Senehun, a village in the Moyamba District, south of the country.   

 

Isha’s ordeal reportedly started when she refused to succumb to the demand of the Bondo Society Heads (Soweis) to be initiated into the ungodly secret society.

“She was able to mobilise young girls within and outside her village to join her campaign against forceful initiation into the Bondo society,” an indigene in the village told our reporter, adding: “Like several other rights activists in the past however, Isha could not withstand the heat after she was declared wanted dead or alive by the Soweis”.

The declaration by the secret society heads has endangered Isha’s life across the length and breadth of Sierra Leone as this powerful society is made up of members from all over the country united to resist and attack whoever crosses their path.

Isha’s life, according to sources, would not be spared if she is ever spotted by these society members because she defied the wishes and demands of a deadly society of which her mother is a senior member.

According to the dictates of the Bondo Society, Isha would inherit the status of her mother whenever the latter dies and she will have to undergo initiation rites including drinking of human blood and using of blades to assert wound marks on her body signifying leadership in the society.

While these practices violate religious and social rights of citizens, there is little or nothing the government could do to save targeted victims, most of whom are left with the option of fleeing the country for life or face the deadly consequences.

Since the disappearance of Isha, the Bassie family has been faced with serious life threatening situations in the hands of society members who continue to raid homes and harass friends and family members of the poor lady within and outside the village.

Isha is not the only victim of the Bondo society in Senehun as is in other parts of the country. Just two years ago, three teenagers died while undergoing forceful initiations in the hands of Soweis. The parents will never get justice as not even a single arrest was made since the incident.

Sources say the Regent Chief in the village has vowed that Isha will never return to that village, adding that even her corpse will not be accepted for burial in their soil.