2 Jun 2014

Rape used as torture in DRC - charity

8:04 pm on 2 June 2014

Rape is being used in prisons as an instrument of torture against women who are politically active in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a British-based charity says.

Freedom from Torture said it examined forensic medical reports from 34 women and found half had been gang-raped, some of them by as many as 10 men, the BBC reports.

Sexual violence has long been a dominant feature in the continuing conflict in eastern DRC but Freedom from Torture said the evidence it found indicated rape was being used as a means to stop women from talking about political issues and human rights.

The woman included traders, graduates and professionals aged between 18 and 62.

Almost all were arrested for being involved in human rights or political campaigning, or because a relative was politically active.