Sunday, July 1, 2012

impunity in Nigeria

Late last year, five students gang-raped and beat a young woman at Abia State University in Nigeria, then passed around an hour-long video of their abuse for friends to watch. For months, Nigerian officials ignored the horrifying case and the governor of Abia state denied the attack even happened there.
But after more than 90,000 people signed Adetomi Aladekomo's petition on to hold the rapists and government officials accountable, Nigeria’s Attorney General demanded that the Inspector-General of police open a formal investigation.
Now, though, local activists are scared that the investigation is stalling. They’re calling for more international pressure to make sure the investigation actually happens. Click here to sign Adetomi’s petition demanding that the 5 attackers from the Abia State University rape video are brought to justice.
Rapists in Nigeria often act with impunity: Very few rapes are prosecuted or even reported, because the country’s society often blames victims of sexual violence. According to Amnesty International, Nigeria’s “legal and social systems tolerate rape and sexual violence on a wide scale.”
But international outcry forced the Attorney General’s hand, and continued pressure will show the Nigerian police they need to perform a thorough investigation and prosecute the men responsible for the attack. When these five men are held responsible for their vicious crime, it will be a watershed moment in the fight against Nigeria’s sexual violence epidemic.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Shelby and the team

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