Now I am a supporter of Avaaz and sign their petitions when they make sense to me. This one seems reasonable and a petition i would gladly sign until I get to something written as fact that I have bolded in red. Then I am like what are these guys talking about. This is not true or is it?
Liz* was walking home from her grandfather’s funeral when she was stopped by six men, some of whom she knew. What happened next is anyone’s worst nightmare: they took turns raping her, then threw her unconscious body down a 6-meter toilet pit. But how the police dealt with the men she identified is beyond outrageous: they asked them to mow the station’s lawn, then set them free. This has to be the world’s worst punishment for rape.
So far nobody has been brought to justice — not the attackers, nor the officers who set them free. Today, we change that. The uproar has already forced a Parliamentary inquiry and promises from a top police official that “heads will roll”. If we focus the global lens on Liz’s case, we can make sure not only that those promises come true, but that they mark a turning-point in Kenya’s battle against Kenya’s rape epidemic.
Let’s stand with Liz today and call on Kenya’s top police official to ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators, hold the offending officers to account, and enforce Kenya’s laws against rape. Sign now and then share this email with everyone you possibly can and when we get 500,000 we will show our outrage by setting off lawn-mowing flash-mobs at police stations across Kenya:
According to the girl’s mother, the rapists return to Liz’s home to taunt the family. They act like they’re above the law, and have good reason to think so. The police just logged Liz’s attack as mere “assault” and asked her mother to “clean her up”, destroying key forensic evidence. Meanwhile, Liz has been confined to a wheelchair and fighting a debilitating fistula infection.
Liz’s story is an extreme example of a much bigger problem. In Kenya, two thirds of school girls and half of school boys have been sexually abused. Earlier this year, a landmark ruling by a Kenyan court found police guilty of failing to do their jobs and ordered them to uphold Kenya’s strict anti-rape laws. The real test for that court decision is whether we get justice for Liz.
The police claim that they don’t have the money or training to uphold the law. But while further resources in police departments and hospitals are badly needed, you don’t need much training to know that cutting the grass is no punishment for rape. The attack on Liz is truly appalling but cases like this will keep happening unless we together stand up and demand the police and authorities set a new precedent for how they treat rape victims like Liz. Stand with her now:
Avaaz members have a track record for standing up against rape all over the world — we recently got the Indian government to commit to a multi-billion Rupee national education campaign to combat the problem there. While we can never undo what happened to Liz, we can keep it from happening again. Let’s do it.
With hope and determination,
David, Anne, Sam, Bissan, Oli, Ricken, Emily and the whole Avaaz team