Posted Jul 04, 2007 01:18 am CDT
A government-backed militia is systematically using rape as a method of so-called ethnic cleansing in the Darfur region of western Sudan, a report by a humanitarian group says.
The Janjaweed militia can do so with impunity due to hostility to rape claims by local police and the difficulty of providing them under Sudanese law, which requires four male witnesses, according to a Washington Post article on the report by Refugees International.
The court system is also intimidating: If a single woman is proven to have sex, she can also be sentenced to 100 lashes, at the judge’s discretion. For married women, the punishment is being stoned to death, says Adrienne Fricke, a lawyer who speaks Arabic who worked on the report.
“This report clarifies the use of rape as a weapon of ethnic violence and points to the international need to end this impunity,” Jimmie Briggs tells the newspaper. He is writing a book about rape as a weapon in Congo.