Rape as Torture in The DRC:
Categories: Articles:Peacemaking |
Published: 16/07/2014 |
Sexual Violence Beyond the Conflict Zone
Often dubbed the 'rape capital of the world', the Democratic Republic of Congo has seen an alarming increase in rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war since the conflict in the early 1990's, and remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman. But new research published by Freedom from Torture shows that persecutory rape, including gang rape and multiple rape, is also being used routinely by state officials in the DRC to punish politically active women, in the country's capital Kinshasa and other regions outside the armed conflict region.
Rape as Torture in the DRC: Sexual Violence Beyond the Conflict Zone analyses evidence from 34 forensic medical reports written by specially trained doctors at Freedom from Torture and indicates that rape is being used as torture by state security forces in prisons across the country to stop women speaking out about politics, human rights and, in some cases, rape itself.
In international law rape committed by state officials can amount to torture, but in the DRC rape as an act of torture goes mostly unacknowledged and unpunished. With this culture of impunity, there is little hope of survivors of rape as torture obtaining justice or of preventing a repeat of such crimes in the future. Freedom From Torture: Download the report here.
Freedom from torture website here
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