An American missionary accused in a lawsuit of impersonating a doctor and illegally operating a medical facility in Uganda, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of children, says she is “innocent.”
"It is sad when people spend their time attacking the good work of others," David C. Gibbs III, attorney for the 29-year-old missionary, Renee Bach of Bedford, Virginia, and her nonprofit, Serving His Children, wrote in a statement on Monday.
"Renee is innocent of the nonsensical allegations being leveled at her by people who are leveraging the power of social media for their own agenda without verification of facts. Their defamation, libel, and slander of her in these online attacks bounce around the world with no accountability and no evidence. The attackers are using the internet to create a crisis that does not actually exist,” Gibbs said.
The lawsuit against Bach was filed in January by Women’s Probono Initiative on behalf of two mothers, Gimbo Brenda and Kakai Annet, whose children allegedly died after receiving treatment at Serving His Children. The case is just now receiving international attention due to activism.
“In their case documents, the mothers allege that they were led to believe that Ms. Renee Bach was a ‘medical doctor’ and that her home was a ‘medical facility’ as she was often seen wearing a white coat, a stethoscope and often administered medications to children in her care. When their children died however, they were told that Ms. Renee has no training at all in medicine and that in 2015, the District Health Officer had closed her facility and ordered her to not offer any treatment to any child,” the Women's Probono Initiative said in a release.
“The Women’s Probono Initiative and the two women are thus alleging that the actions of Renee and SHC led to the death of hundreds of children amounting to violations of human rights including violation of children’s right to access adequate treatment, the right to health of the children, the right to life, the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of race and social economic standing and the right to dignity, freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment,” the statement continued.
Gibbs, who also serves as president and general counsel of the National Center for Life and Liberty, a legal ministry that protects the rights of churches and Christian organizations nationwide, insists that Bach is being attacked by “reputational terrorists” whose efforts have threatened her personal safety.
“Reputational terrorists are attacking Renee Bach and SHC with false allegations using the platform of social media enabling entire communities to determine guilt or innocence, creating a false reality without factual evidence. These escalating attacks are currently threatening the personal safety of Ms. Bach and her family, as people are believing these lies about her and the services provided by the organization. The media is escalating these safety risks by globally sharing false information,” Gibbs wrote.
He then challenged some of the allegations in the lawsuit against Bach.
“The civil lawsuit was filed against Ms. Bach in Uganda by two mothers is entirely without merit, and will be vigorously answered in court. Ms. Bach has responded through her legal counsel to all court matters. One of the children in the lawsuit was never treated by SHC. The other child was treated at SHC while Ms. Bach was not in Uganda. These sensational allegations are patently false and fail to recognize the 3,600 malnourished children who have recovered because of the care and treatment provided by SHC,” he added.