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Full Investigation Needed into Ignored Riot Warnings, Sexual Violence

(Kinshasa) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several…
Kasapa Prison
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Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several dozen female detainees,…
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Armed Criminals Abducted at Least 170 People, Many Women, Since 2017

Criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom at least 170 people near the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo between April 2017 and March 2020. Small groups armed with guns and machetes have beaten, tortured, and murdered hostages,…
Criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom at least 170 people near the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo between April 2017 and March 2020.
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The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) conviction of the Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda sends a strong message that justice may await those responsible for grave crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said today. 
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Women Tell Their Stories

Abortion in all instances, including rape, is illegal in Honduras. Any woman who has an abortion, and anyone found to have helped her, can be charged with a crime and imprisoned. For that reason, La Línea (“The Line”) was a rare resource in…
Lorena (a pseudonym) was unaware she was pregnant when she went to a hospital in intense pain two years ago. Doctors suspected she had attempted an abortion and called the police. She was taken from the hospital in handcuffs and is now facing charges.
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Cristina Alvarado is a social worker and part of the national coordination team of Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz “Visitación Padilla” (Movement of Women for Peace “Visitacion Padilla”).
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Lawmakers Set to Discuss Loosening Notoriously Strict Anti-Abortion Law

This week, lawmakers in Honduras will have the chance to allow some women access to abortion, reversing restrictions first imposed more than 30 years ago. Under the current law, terminating a pregnancy is illegal and carries a heavy prison sentence,…
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Today’s International Criminal Court (ICC) conviction of a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president was both a victory for sexual violence victims and a stark warning to senior commanders who turn a blind eye while their troops rape and commit…
Former Congo vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba looks up when sitting in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court to stand trial in The Hague, Netherlands, September 29, 2015.
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The Democratic Republic of Congo lost a hero this week. Rebecca Masika Katsuva, a women’s rights activist who dedicated her life to helping rape victims in eastern Congo, passed away unexpectedly on February 2. Masika had a huge…
Rebecca Masika Katsuva
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In a move that will surely draw a collective cheer from thousands of women whose lives have been destroyed by brutal sexual violence, the European Parliament announced that Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege won the 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought…
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New Judicial Mechanism Needed to Bring Perpetrators to Justice

Introduction Horrific levels of rape and other forms of sexual violence have plagued eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for almost two decades. Tens of thousands of women, girls, men, and boys have been raped and otherwise…
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Nations Should Pledge to Prosecute Attackers, Aid Survivors

(London) – The London Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict is a landmark opportunity to strengthen global efforts to end rape in war, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should use the summit, from June 10 to June 13, 2014, to make strong…
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In Norway on Saturday, three women stepped up to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. The awarding of the Nobel to Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkul Karman and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is a long-awaited and, some may think, overdue testament to women's courage.…
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Ivorian Women and Girls Compelled to Trade Sex for Food, Shelter

(Geneva) - Dozens of Ivorian refugee women and girls recently arrived in eastern Liberia say they have had to engage in sex to get adequate food, shelter, or money, Human Rights Watch said today. The Liberian government, the police, and United Nations…
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Letter to Foreign Ministers on Proposed Followup to UN Mapping Report

To the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton To the 27 EU Foreign Ministers To the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton To the AU Commission Chairperson H.E. Jean Ping To the 15 members of the AU Peace…
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A mixed chamber and other accountability measures

Introduction I. Establishing a mixed chamber for the Congo: why, what and how? II. The role of the African Union III. Other measures to address grave crimes committed in the DRC   Introduction On October 1, 2010, the United Nations' Office of…
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Violence against women is a worldwide crisis, and a bill scheduled to come before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, the International Violence against Women Act, would improve the way US foreign assistance is provided to address such…
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Security Council Should Urgently Deploy a Civilian Protection Expert Group

(New York) - The United Nations Security Council should urgently act to protect civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo from further atrocities by government and rebel forces and ensure peacekeepers are not implicated in abuses, Human…