Getting Away with Murder, Mutilation, and Rape

New Testimony from Sierra Leone

Legacy PDF:

This sixty-page report documents how, as rebels took control of the city in January 1999, they made little distinction between civilian and military targets. Testimonies from victims and survivors describe numerous massacres of civilians gathered in houses, churches and mosques. One massacre in a mosque on January 22 resulted in the deaths of sixty-six people. A woman describes how she escaped from a burning house after rebels set her mother and daughter on fire. A child recounts how, from her hiding place, she watched rebels execute seventeen of her family and friends. The report also includes testimonies from girls and women who describe how they were systematically rounded up by the rebels, brought to rebel command centers and then subjected to individual and gang-rape. Young girls under seventeen, and particularly those deemed to be virgins, were specifically targeted, and hundreds of them were later abducted by the rebels. Human Rights Watch documents how entire families were gunned down in the street, children and adults had their limbs hacked off with machetes, and girls and young women were taken to rebel bases and sexually abused.

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