Congo—According to lawyers from Dr. Congo, ten convicts have been handed 15-year jail terms for the rape of female inmates at a prison in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It was established that fifty-six women were repeatedly raped during a three-day mutiny at Kasapa jail in Lubumbashi.
Lawyers for the victims said that three of the women were infected with HIV/AIDS and 16 became pregnant after the assault.
“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 spoke.
Accusers had sought 20-year terms against the accused, who were also sentenced on Wednesday to pay the equivalent of $5 000 to each of the women.
“We are satisfied with the verdict, [which came] after a long struggle to gain justice for my clients,” Melanie Mumba, a lawyer for the victims said.
Noella Bashizi, a defense lawyer 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 spoke.
“The women were raped over three days and no one intervened. And yet there’s a police base close to the jail.”