News / Africa

Kenya Protesters Demand Justice for Gang Rape Victim

Protesters deliver a letter to the office of Kenya's Inspector General in Nairobi demanding justice in the case of a teenage rape victim, Oct. 31, 2013. (Gabe Joselow/VOA)
Protesters deliver a letter to the office of Kenya's Inspector General in Nairobi demanding justice in the case of a teenage rape victim, Oct. 31, 2013. (Gabe Joselow/VOA)
Gabe Joselow
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Nairobi on Thursday to demand justice for a Kenyan rape victim, whose attackers were sentenced to cut grass.  The case has sent shockwaves around the world.
 
Waving signs and placards, some holding women’s underwear strung together as a message against sexual violence, protesters from across Africa marched from Nairobi’s Uhuru Park to the gates of the inspector general’s office, united by a single message: Justice for Liz.
 
“We are here just to call the attention of the government of the police of this country to take the issue very serious,” explained Rafa Machava, a protester from Mozambique.

The rallying cause is the case of a 16-year-old girl, given the pseudonym Liz by the Kenyan media, who was gang raped in June while walking back from her grandfather’s funeral in Busia county in western Kenya.
 
She was so badly injured in the attack, that she is now confined to a wheelchair.
 
The rapists, whom she identified, were taken to the local authorities who ordered them to cut grass in the police station compound as punishment.  They were then set free.
 
“I would like to see them brought behind bars,” said Vincer Mwali, who came to the protest with a group of women from Mombasa, on the Kenyan coast.
 
“I’m a mother who has children, I have a girl, who like one day if such a thing can happen to her, how can I feel?  So I want justice to be done to Liz,” Mwali added.
 
The demonstrators delivered a petition, signed by more than one million people in an online campaign, to the office of Inspector General David Kimaiyo.  The petition demands the arrest of the rapists and punishment for the police officers involved for mishandling the case.
 
The case, originally reported by Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper has gained the attention of African rights groups.
 
Emma Kaliya, chair of the African women’s development organization Femnet, said activists from 21 countries across the continent joined Thursday’s protest.
 
“Everywhere in Africa these things are happening," she noted.  "And that’s why we are demanding it in a very holistic way.  We are not only talking about Kenya, we are talking about all the countries in Africa to do something about this problem.”
 
Kenyan officials, including Inspector Kimaiyo, have offered assurances that justice will be done.

The director of the public prosecutor’s office says he has ordered the arrest of the six suspects involved.  But so far, none have been apprehended.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ellen Makiriyado from: USA
October 31, 2013 11:48 PM
Well done womans of Africa !!stand together as one !!God bless


by: olums78 from: Lagos ,Nigeria
October 31, 2013 3:48 PM
This behaviour is barbaric and it has to be decisively handled.the police officer who treated such a big crime with levity has to be prosecuted

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid