Saturday 20 October 2018
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2 months ago

Mauritania: Rape Survivors at Risk

The criminalization of sexual relations outside marriage in Mauritania puts rape survivors at risk. The law deters them from filing complaints because they could themselves face prosecution. (Nouakchott) – The criminalization of sexual relations outside marriage in Mauritania puts rape survivors at risk, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The law deters them from filing complaints because they could themselves face prosecution. The 90-page report, “‘They Told Me to Keep Quiet’: Obstacles to Justice and Remedy for Sexual Assault Survivors in Mauritania,” found that when survivors do come forward, police and judicial investigators do not respect their rights and dignity. Human Rights Watch found that investigative procedures do not ensure privacy or confidentiality, rarely offer the possibility to interact with female officials, and can turn into an investigation of the rape survivor’s moral character. Many survivors have limited access, if any, to legal aid, or medical, mental health, and social support. September 5, 2018 Report “They Told Me to Keep Quiet” Obstacles to Justice and Remedy for Sexual Assault Survivors in Mauritania Download the full report in English Download the appendix of the report in English “Women and girls should not run the risk of jail or further stigma for reporting sexual abuse,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch. “To combat sexual violence, Mauritania should require law enforcement and public health systems to stop treating victims as suspects, support them in seeking justice and recovery, and prosecute the perpetrators.”   Human Rights Watch interviewed 33 girls and women who reported being raped, as well as members of nongovernmental groups, lawyers, and government officials. On July 12, Human Rights Watch sent a letter, with preliminary f

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