ISHR has learned that 2013 Advocate Angeline Pajibo Swen of Liberia has passed away.
Pajibo Swen truly cared about the women and children she served first as a police officer and later as a community team leader with a non-profit. While in HRAP, Pajibo Swen impressed everyone with her determination and commitment as well as her grace and humor. She loved her family dearly and spoke of them often.
We would like to leave you with an excerpt from the interview we conducted for the 2013 HRAP report.
Over time, Angeline began to feel that her ability to create change was limited due to the corruption within the police system. Angeline shares, “I was limited when I investigated a case. Let’s say, for example, there was a case of a minister abusing his wife or sexually abusing a child, and it [was] brought to the police for investigation. Before any progress could be made, you would see ‘invisible hands’ enter the investigation – a police director or other top brass would call me and tell me to forget about that case. So I was completely limited, I couldn’t do anything and was told ‘Duty before complaint.’ I had women coming to me looking for help, feeling empowered by seeing me behind the desk, my presence making them comfortable. Yet I knew that their cases wouldn’t be resolved. If in this central city women are treated poorly, what about women in rural areas where the services are even worse? I couldn’t work in that type of environment. I needed to work somewhere I could make real change.” In 2006, Angeline left the police force to join the organization medica mondiale Liberia where she continues to work today. (Written in December 2013)