Target: Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan
Goal: Release young woman convicted and detained for being raped
A nine-month pregnant Sudanese teenager was convicted of “indecent behavior” after she was gang-raped and ignored by police after attempting to report the crime. The 18-year-old Ethiopian migrant was looking for a new home when she was lured into a vacant house where seven men waited. The men beat her and gang-raped her before posting a video of the attack on social media sites.
The young woman was ridiculed and ignored by police when she first attempted to report the crime. After a report was finally made, and the case taken to trial, the court initially intended to charge the victim with adultery, a crime punishable with death by stoning. After the court accepted that she was divorced, the charges were reduced to indecent behavior. She was sentenced to a one month suspended prison sentence, and fined 5,000 Sudanese pounds. Since her arrest she has been kept in a cell at police headquarters, and has been denied a transfer to a medical facility.
Sudan’s migrants and displaced persons are particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse, while women are almost equally marginalized. This conviction, though devastating to the victim, could also discourage abused women to come forward in the future. Convicting women for playing roles in their own rape further marginalizes them and only contributes to to the cultural stigma surrounding rape victims in Sudan. Demand that the conviction be overturned for this innocent young woman who should have been protected rather than prosecuted.
Dear Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan
Recently, a Sudanese court convicted an 18-year-old girl of indecent behavior after she was gang raped by 7 men. The nine-month pregnant young woman, an Ethiopian migrant, was ignored and ridiculed by police when she first tried to report the assault.
When the case was reported and sent to court, she received a one-month suspended sentence and a fine of 5,000 Sudanese pounds. This was after being charged initially with adultery because the court thought she was still married. Since her arrest, the young woman has been detained at a police station and denied transfer to a medical facility despite her full-term pregnancy.
Such convictions perpetuate a tendency to put fault on the victim, causing the rampant stigma toward rape victims present in Sudan. They further marginalize the rights of women and immigrants, and could even intimidate future victims into not coming forward. I demand that the conviction against her be overturned, and that she is immediately released from detention.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: s_falkow via Creative Commons