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Darfur: Policeman gets life imprisonment for child rape

November 12 - 2016 EL GENEINA
The Special Prosecutor for Crimes in Darfur visits Tabit and interviews women to investigate mass rape claims in November 2014 (Suna News Agency)
The Special Prosecutor for Crimes in Darfur visits Tabit and interviews women to investigate mass rape claims in November 2014 (Suna News Agency)

A policeman has been sentenced to lifelong imprisonment for raping a minor in West Darfur on Thursday.

The Special Criminal Court for Darfur Crimes in El Geneina convicted the policeman to 20 years in prison and paying a fine of SDG5,000 ($760). In the event of non-payment the convict will be sentenced to another six months imprisonment in succession of his imprisonment.

The conviction under article 45b of the Children's Act of 2010 was announced on the website of the special court's attorney-general's office. Judge Adam Usher Mohamed has sent the papers of the convict to the High Court in Sudan for endorsement.

This incident dates back to last September, when one or more policemen raped a girl in El Jebel area in El Geneina. Prosecutions of rape are rare in Sudan, owing to the high burden of proof for victims. Sudanese soldiers, policemen and government officials enjoy immunity that covers for “acts performed in the line of duty”, and cannot be sued unless the Ministry of Justice lifts immunity.

Despite changes to the definition of the offence of rape in Sudan’s criminal law in the past year, the law remains unclear about evidence standards that apply and women who report sexual offences remain at risk of prosecution for adultery or committing “immoral acts”. The scale of sexual violence is likely much greater than any reports indicate, Human Rights Watch stressed in a joint statement of international human rights organisations last June.

Special Court

The Special Criminal Court in Darfur was established in June 2005 following the announcement of the International Criminal Court investigation into the events during the armed conflict in Darfur, that started in 2003. Sudanese authorities refused to cooperate with the court, arguing that local courts are capable to consider issues related to crimes in Darfur.


Related:

Activists encourage Darfuri women to prevent rapes (22 July 2016)

'Laws, impunity in Sudan foster sexual violence': international organisations (20 June 2016)

 


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