January 20, 2022

DRC: Ten Convicts Found Guilty of Mass Rape

Ten prisoners have been have been found guilty of raping female inmates at a prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Appearing in court on Wednesday, 18 January, the accused were each handed 15-year jail sentences and fined $5 000 for repeatedly raping 56 females prisoners at Kasapa Central Prison over a three-day period in September 2020.

After staging riots at the prison, the accused subjected the victims – including a 16-year-old girl – to repeated sexual assault. According to their lawyers, 16 of the women became pregnant while three others contracted HIV/AIDS.

At least 38 of the victims, including the girl, testified against the accused before a military prosecutor in nearby Lubumbashi.

Lawyer Melanie Mumba, who represented the victims, lauded Wednesday’s sentencing, saying: “We are satisfied with the verdict, after a long struggle to gain justice.”

The convicts will consult with their lawyers about appealing against the sentences.