Online peititon calls for justice for “world’s worst punishment for rape”

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Protest against Kenya's court after child rape case
Women protest in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi against an unbelievably lenient Kenyan court punishment after judgement for gang-rapists was given following the sexual attack against a 16 year old girl who was left to die in a latrine by a gang of six men. Image: KTVU

(WNN/IRIN) Nairobi, KENYA, EASTERN AFRICA: The gang rape of a 16-year-old Kenyan girl, and the laughable punishment given to some of her attackers – they were made to cut grass for an afternoon before being set free – has made headlines around the world.

More than 1.3 million people have signed an online petition to demand justice for Liz*, who suffered horrific injuries and is now wheelchair-bound, and for the police involved in her petition to be disciplined.

The most unusual aspect of the case was not its brutality – Liz was thrown down a deep pit latrine and left for dead – nor the fact that her attackers, despite stiff penalties for rape being on the statute books, remain free, but rather the fact that, in a country where impunity for such crimes has become normalized, Liz’s ordeal generated so much publicity.

“Kenya as a country tolerates a culture of violence against women and… values and positions women much lower than men,” according to a recent government report.

Acts of sexual violence rose sharply during the mayhem that followed a presidential election in December 2007, with most such crimes targeting poor women in their homes.

“Still Standing”, IRIN’s powerful new audio slideshow, tells the story of one such rape survivor, Ziborah Iala, and her seemingly endless quest for justice and healing.

Having kept silent about her ordeal for several years, Iala found through counseling both the strength and the determination to speak out, so as to improve her chances of gaining redress and to encourage other women in the same position to do likewise.

*To protect her true identity, Liz is not the real name of the girl who was attacked by six men in a village in the Bunsia region of Kenya.


“Everything went back to dust,” describes Ziborah Iala, a courageous Kenyan woman who is a survivor of sexual gang-rape assault and who agreed to be interviewed. Violence against women inside Kenya, and throughout Africa and beyond, is a problem that must be faced ‘head-on’ with transparency and justice say global women advocates. This video is an October 31, 2013 Youtube release by IRINFilms.


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