Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Events in Nigeria

VOA has a story based on Human Rights Watch activities in Nigeria.
Human Rights Watch said the recent conviction of just two Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers out of a total 39 tried for a mass rape in 2012 points to deeper failings in the justice system. The rights group said despite enormous amounts of international funding, the system is failing to deliver justice both to victims and those accused of war crimes in the DRC.
It’s been widely reported that at least 76 women and girls were raped at Minova, in the eastern DRC, after a chaotic army retreat in November 2012.
In May 2014, a military court convicted two rank-and-file soldiers of rape and 25 of looting. They were sentenced to jail terms of up to 20 years with no right of appeal. But all the officers on trial were acquitted and no high level commander was charged.
Human Rights Watch said the case was rushed to trial, largely due to international pressure, and defendants had weak legal representation.
(Emphasis added.)  See Gene's post about HRW and the "Minova" cases for more background.  It's interesting and appropriate to see some attention paid to the fairness of the trial and quality of representation--that's generally considered a human right, see here, here.

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