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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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Teenager Noura Hussein Faces Death for Killing Husband Who Raped Her

International media has rightly focused on the case of Noura Hussein, a 19-year-old Sudanese woman sentenced to death for killing her husband – whom she’d been forced to marry – as he tried to rape her. The court which tried…
A woman carries water in Al Fashir, capital of North Darfur, Sudan, September 6, 2016.
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Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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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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AU/UN Should Increase Investigations, Reporting on Abuses

(Nairobi) – Sudanese military forces and militia have used rape as a weapon of war in Darfur and other conflicts, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. Patterns of rape across Darfur in 2014 and 2015 show that various Sudanese units have…
Fighters of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces in captured vehicles celebrate a victory against the rebel Justice and Equality Movement, Goz Dango, South Darfur, April 28, 2015.   © 2015 Reuters
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Even over a crackling phone line, our Darfuri eyewitness was unequivocal. One year ago, at the very end of October, Sudan army troops stormed into her town in Tabit, North Darfur, dragged her out of her home, and beat her almost to death. Three of her…
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(Nairobi, September 2, 2015) – A Sudanese government special force has gone on two sprees of killings and mass rape of civilians in dozens of Darfur villages and towns since October 2014, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government…
Report
  Summary “[The government soldiers] confiscated our belongings. They took our livestock.  They beat the men. And then they raped us. They raped us in a group. Some women were raped by 8 or 10 men.  Seventeen women were…
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Maps Darfur Tabit and the Surrounding Area Maps © 2015 John Emerson/Human Rights Watch …
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UN, AU Should Press for Protection, International Investigation

(New York) – Sudanese army forces raped more than 200 women and girls in an organized attack on the north Darfur town of Tabit in October 2014, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) should take…
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To: Members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Honourable Commissioners, Re: Call for Further ACHPR Action on Human Rights in Sudan We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations, are writing to urge you to ensure that serious…
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Council Should Turn Its Talk Into an Effective Response to Civilian Suffering

(New York) - The United Nations Security Council should make sure that its existing commitments to protect civilians during armed conflict are actually carried out, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to council member states. On June 26, 2009, the…
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Confronting Rape and Other Forms of Violence Against Women in Conflict Zones

Sexual violence targeting women and girls is nothing new. For decades, human rights and humanitarian organizations have reported sexual violence in Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Chechnya/…
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Senate and Administration Should Provide Leadership to End Violence and Bring Accountability

(Washington, DC) - The United States Senate should move beyond collecting testimony in its commitment to help prevent and punish rape in conflict, Human Rights Watch said today in a written submission to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The US is…