Magazine article New Internationalist

Pursuing Justice for Rape Crimes

Magazine article New Internationalist

Pursuing Justice for Rape Crimes

Article excerpt

In July, the International Criminal Court (ICC) secured its first-ever conviction. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was sentenced to 14 years for enlisting, conscripting and using child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). But rape was also used systematically by Lubanga's militia as a means of terrorizing and destroying communities, and girl soldiers were forced into sexual slavery. And the absence of charges relating to this gender-based violence is troubling human rights activists.

Chouchou Namegabe, while pleased with the guilty verdict, says Lubanga's short sentence reflects the narrowness of the charges: 'Fourteen years in prison is not enough. Had the charges related to sexual violence been used against him, he would have got 20 years.'

When Namegabe co-founded the South Kivu Women's Media Association (AFEM) she shocked radio audiences by bearing witness to sexual violence and presenting the testimony of survivors. …

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