11.12.07 - RWANDA/JUSTICE - 1 718 PERSONS TRIED FOR RAPE IN 2006, ACCORDING TO LIPRODHOR

Kigali, 11 December 2007 (FH) - Some 1 718 persons were tried for rape in Rwanda in 2006, of which 103 were sentenced to life in prison and another person to death before the abolition of this sentence, according to a report by the Rwandan League for the Promotion and the Defence of Human Right (LIPRODHOR).
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According to the organization, 477 persons accused of rape were acquitted. LIPRODHOR notes, without giving more information, than the crime of rape took, after the 1994 genocide, proportions never seen before.

"In the police stations, the rape charges are more and more numerous and the doctors necessary for the expertise deplore being overflowed", writes the association. According to it, the figures provided by the police services and the courts are far from reflecting the true impact of this evil which "gangrenes Rwandan society". "In the rural areas, there are cases of rape which are not brought before justice", estimates LIPRODHOR.

The cases of rape are resolved in a friendly manner, a rule which sometimes consists of marrying the victim with the rapist, according to the organization. In other arrangements, the author of the rape pays an important amount of money to the family of the victim and, often, with the basic administrative official having been used as a mediator between the two parties. The consequences are important, according to LIPRODHOR; which quotes, inter alia, the birth of children who will be left on their own or killed in cold blood thereafter by their mothers.

ER/PB/MM
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