Kenyans accuse police of ignoring gang rape
- 10 October 2013
- From the section Africa
Kenyans are outraged that three men accused of gang-raping and dumping a girl in a pit latrine were ordered by police to cut grass as punishment.
The 16-year old was attacked after returning from a grandfather's funeral in a village in western Kenya, Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reports.
Her back was broken during the attacks and she now uses a wheelchair.
Rights activists and MPs denounced the police for failing to investigate the girl's complaints.
"Everyone is incensed, to say the least," Saida Ali, executive director of Kenya's Coalition on Violence against Women, told the BBC's Newsday programme.
The police were investigating the conduct of officers who dealt with the girl's complaint, said Halima Mohamed, the police commander of Busia County where the attack took place, the Daily Nation reports.
The BBC's David Okwembah in the capital, Nairobi, says the apparent failure by police to act on this incident is an example of the incompetence which many Kenyans feel afflicts the force, especially after the recent attack on the Westgate shopping centre.
'Shocking and unbelievable'
The girl apparently knew some of the alleged attackers, and police recorded a case of assault against three of them.
Villagers took the three accused to the local police station after hearing of the attack.
"The three... were only ordered to cut grass around the police camp and set free shortly after," the girl's mother is quoted as saying.
The girl's plight was discussed by the Kenyan parliament's national security committee on Wednesday.
"It is shocking and unbelievable. We want to get to the bottom of it," said committee chairman Asman Kimama.
"I want my attackers arrested and punished," the girl told the newspaper.
"My wish is to see justice done," she said.
Ms Mohamed told the BBC police had ordered the girl's mother to "clean her up" after the alleged rape, destroying vital forensic evidence that could be used against the suspects.
"This is one of many cases of blatant impunity on the part of police," she added.
The Nation Media Group has offered to pay the girl's medical expenses and has launched a campaign to bring the alleged attackers to justice.
"Not only did she suffer a brutal crime that changed her life forever; she was also denied justice," said Ann Gitao-Kinyua, the Nation Media Group's marketing director.
Readers of the newspaper and BBC listeners reacted furiously to the attack, describing it as despicable and calling for prosecutions against the alleged rapists and the police for failing to arrest and charge them.