Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kenya: Rape victims of 2007 post election violence seek justice

[Dibie Ike Michael with AGENCY] Eight Kenyans sexually assaulted during post election violence in 2007-08 have gone to court to compel the government to take legal action to ensure justice.

The group of six women and two men filed a petition at Kenya’s High Court demanding that the government address cases of sexual violence during unrest in the country after a disputed elections in which some 1,200 people died.

The post election violence was the country’s worst wave of violence since independence from Britain in 1963.

The survivors want the truth about what happened to them known; and they want the state to acknowledge that they suffered.
The Kenyans, who are seeking “truth, justice and reparations from the state,” have asked the court to find that the violence carried out were crimes against humanity and that the government must therefore ensure all efforts are made to prosecute those responsible.

Some 50 supporters who said they also suffered sexual or other violence held banners outside the court in support of the case.

“The survivors want the truth about what happened to them known; and they want the state to acknowledge that they suffered, we stand in solidarity with eight survivors who were brutally gang-raped and forcibly circumcised,” the statement said,

They added that they were an “emblematic” representation of thousands of other women, girls, men and boys who suffered similar violations.

The hearing comes a week after charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Deputy President William Ruto were dropped. The same court had dismissed the crimes against humanity charges facing President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2014.

Only a handful of people have been prosecuted for the 2007-08 violence after charges were dropped against Ruto.

The government had repeatedly promised to ensure victims of the violence are compensated.

The case, was first opened on March 2014.

Kenyatta and Ruto are due to address a rally in the central Kenyan town of Nakuru,on saturday at a reconciliation and thanksgiving prayer service following the ICC ruling.

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