Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ethiopian pregnant Refugee to pay $880 for being Gang-raped by Six Sudanese men

A Sudanese court in Khartoum sentenced on Thursday, 18 years old pregnant Ethiopian refugee who was gang-raped by six thugs in September, to one month jail and 880 USD fine. It was learnt that the 7th accomplice filmed her while she was being raped with his cellphone and posted it on social media called WhatsApp. The girl is right now in the prison. She was three months pregnant while she was gang-raped. Hala AlKarib, regional Head of a women's rights groups called SIHA ( Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa) told Deutsche Welle Radio Amharic service that the victim has been in prison for more than a month and she could give birth at anytime. She was charged with indecent acts and sentenced to one month on February 20, 2014. The woman was sentenced to a one-month jail term but this was suspended because she is pregnant, her lawyer, Samia al-Hashmi, told the AFP news agency and  the court ordered instead her to pay another 5,000 Sudanese Pound (880 USD) fine. The young woman had also faced charges of adultery and prostitution, which could have led to a penalty of death by stoning, but these were dropped after she convinced the court she was divorced, reports SIHA. She has not been freed yet even though the fine was paid. The rapists were seen in the clip showing a V sign and their middle fingers while she was being raped to express their disrespect. Answering how the Ethiopian pregnant woman was gang-raped, Ms Halla says the woman was house-hunting when she was lured to an empty property and attacked in Omdurman, just across the River Nile from Khartoum. When the victim was checking out the room, the broker phoned his friends and then they raped and filmed the sexual scene. The crime was committed in September but the 7th culprit shared the video on social media a month ago and that is how she was caught by the Sudanese police and put behind bars. The victim tried to report a crime to a police officer she met on the street right after the crime but she couldn't succeed due to language barrier as she speaks only broken Arabic. Halla said the refugee girl came to the Sudan recently,  adding that the victim might come to the country searching for a better life.” According to Sudanese law a raped woman will be charged with adultery. If both the victim and the rapists are unmarried, they shall be stoned. Ironically however, the men who raped the girl got 100 slashes and then released since of all them are singles. 
SIHA underscores that such miscarriage of justice in Sudan makes women and men victims of rape not to report the crime and in the meantime encourage rapists to get away with their crime.
It says she now faces deportation.

The group's regional director Hala Elkarib condemned the conviction, saying it would prevent women from reporting sexual abuse.

"The levelling of immigration charges against the victim further denies her protection by the state and protracts the punishment and emotional stress against her whilst she has been subjected to the most brutal of crimes," she said.
The Sudanese government is holding the Ethiopian girl in prison for allegedly entering the country illegally. The girl is in her 9th month pregnancy. 
Sudanese law is based on Sharia and women have been punished for wearing trousers or not covering their hair. 

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