Ten Congolese convicts have been handed 15-year jail terms for the rape of dozens of female inmates at the Kasapa jail in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Almost sixty women were repeatedly raped during a three-day mutiny at Kasapa jail in Lubumbashi in September 2020.
Three of the violated women were infected with HIV while 16 became pregnant after the assault, according to lawyers for the victims.
“The court has found the 10 prisoners guilty of raping over 30 women inmates. They stormed into the women’s section of the prison during riots in the prison in September 2020 and raped them,” Lieutenant Peter Ntangalo, a security officer in Haut-Katanga, said.
Although the prosecutor sought 20-year terms against the accused,they were also required to pay the equivalent of $5,000 to each of the women.
Melanie Mumba, a lawyer for the victims said “We are satisfied with the verdict, [which came] after a long struggle to gain justice for my clients.”
Defence lawyer Noella Bashizi said she would consult her clients about whether to appeal.
“It’s the Congolese state which should be prosecuted – it’s responsible for the bad jail conditions,” she said.
“The women were raped over three days and no one intervened. And yet there’s a police base close to the jail.”
In addition to committing mass rape, the 10 were convicted of setting fire to the prison.
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