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Human Rights Watch: Stop Abuse of Congolese Migrants in Angola

Human Rights Watch Urges India to Prevent AbusesHuman Rights Watch Urges India to Prevent Abuses
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Human Rights Watch Urges India to Prevent Abuses
Human Rights Watch Urges India to Prevent Abuses

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A new report published by the international organization, Human Rights Watch today calls for the Angolan government to rein in security forces who are accused of sexual violence and other inhuman treatment against Congolese migrants.

The 50-page report, entitled “If you come back we will kill you: sexual violence and other abuses against Congolese migrants during expulsions from Angola,” describes an alarming pattern of human rights violations by member of Angolan security forces that took place between 2009 and 2011.

Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 100 victims and witnesses to the abuses which the organization says took place during expulsions in two different regions, in Cabinda enclave and the diamond-rich Lunda Norte province, to the provinces of Bas-Congo and Kasai-Occidental.

Most of the migrants enter Angola to find work in diamond mines or informal markets and a considerable number of those detained are women with their children.
“Women we interviewed who have been expelled from the diamond areas of Lunda Norte gave us similar accounts of sexual exploitation and violence, contrary to what the government often says are isolated incidents, “ said Lisa Rile, Africa researcher for Human Rights Watch in Geneva.

She said the women’s accounts all had a common factor of being raped.
“According to that pattern, members of different security forces came into the prisons as soon as those migrants arrived and requested sex from the females.  Women who refused to have sex with those agents were beaten up in front of others,” explained Rimli.

Rimli also said the women reported that at times agents would offer food in exchange for sex.

She said in more serious cases, women were gang raped by several agents in the cell in front of other women, and their own children.

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