DRC: Prisoners Found Guilty Of Mass Rape

Kasapa Central Prison
In Summary: During a three-day uprising at Kasapa Central Prison near Lubumbashi in 2020, 37 women and a teenage girl claimed that they were repeatedly raped.

Ten prisoners have been found guilty of raping dozens of female inmates during a violent riot at an overcrowded jail in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Thirty-seven women and a teenage girl testified that they were repeatedly raped during a three-day riot at Kasapa Central Prison near Lubumbashi in 2020.

Some female detainees became pregnant and contracted sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

The 10 men were fined and ordered to serve 15 additional years in jail.

Although some of the inmates were too frightened to give evidence, dozens testified before a military prosecutor that they had been raped during the riot.

Melanie Mumba, a lawyer for the victims, told AFP news agency: “We are satisfied with the verdict, after a long struggle to gain justice”.

The run-down prison facility was taken over by a group of male inmates for several days in September 2020.

They set the women’s section of the prison on fire with female detainees – including a 16-year-old girl – forced to sleep in a prison yard where they were subjected to sexual assaults.

Some 20 inmates and a prison guard were reportedly killed during the violence before security forces regained control.

The mass rapes were highlighted in reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW), who urged authorities to investigate the assaults and offer adequate care to those impacted.

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