Art. 264e provides for a criminal penalty of not less than three years for any person who commits certain specified offenses in connection with an armed conflict, including (among other things) raping a person of the female gender protected by international humanitarian law or, after she has been forcibly made pregnant, confining her unlawfully with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of a population, forcing a person to tolerate a sexual act of comparable severity or forcing a person protected by international humanitarian law into prostitution or to be sterilized. In especially serious cases, and in particular where the offense affects a number of persons or the offender acts in a cruel manner, life imprisonment may be imposed. In less serious cases, imprisonment of not less than one year may be imposed. Unofficial English translation available here.
Women and Justice: Topics: Forced and early marriage, Forced sterilization, Gender violence in conflict, International law, Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons
Provides for a criminal penalty of not less than five years for any person who commits certain specified offenses as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, including (1) assuming and exercising a right of ownership over a person, in particular in the form of trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation or forced labor; and (2) raping a person of the female gender or, after she has been forcibly made pregnant, confining her unlawfully with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of a population, forcing a person to tolerate a sexual act of comparable severity or forcing a person into prostitution or to be sterilized. Unofficial English translation available here.
Article 9 defines crimes against humanity to include violent acts such as rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilization or other forms of sexual violence.
Article 28. Responsibility of commanders and other superiors. Under this provision, military commanders are held criminally responsible for crimes committed by armed forces under their effective command and control, such as rape and any sexual violence used in war. This applies to instances where the superior knew or should have known about such crimes, or failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures to prevent their commission. The crimes committed by the armed forces must have been a result of the failure of the commander to properly exercise control over them. In addition, there must be evidence beyond any reasonable doubt that the commander is responsible and the crimes were sufficiently widespread so that it is evident that they occurred during the ordinary implementation of the military action for which the commander is responsible. The goal of this provision is to encourage commanders and superiors to prevent effectively the perpetration of crimes by their forces.
Article 8. Sexual and gender-based crimes as war crimes. Through its inclusion of sexual and gender-based crimes as distinct war crimes, this provision recognises that gender-based violence is routinely committed in the context of armed conflicts. Under Article 8(2)(b)(xxii), rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, and enforced sterilization are acts amounting to war crimes. Any other form of sexual violence constituting a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions can also amount to a war crime: e.g., torture, wilfully causing great suffering, and the taking of hostages. Similarly, all types of war crimes (for instance, torture) may contain gender elements. Article 8 was interpreted by the ICC in Prosecutor v. Katanga and Ngudjolo. In that case, although the crimes could not be attributed to Katanga, the ICC found that forcible nudity constitutes an outrage upon personal dignity, which amounts to a war crime under Article 8(2)(b)(xxi).
The intention behind the Rome Statute of 2002 (“Rome Statute” or “Statute”) in establishing the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) is to prosecute the most serious crimes of international concern and to end impunity. The Rome Statute is significant in being the first international criminal law instrument that recognises forms of sexual violence, such as rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, and enforced sterilization, as distinct war crimes. This legal instrument is also novel in prescribing gender-based crimes as the basis of war crimes or crimes against humanity committed during armed conflicts. In particular, the Statute gives the ICC jurisdiction over gender-based crimes if they constitute acts of genocide. In this case the crimes, such as rape, can be an integral part of the destruction inflicted upon the targeted groups and may be charged as genocide. The Prosecutor must further apply and interpret the Statute in line with internationally recognised human rights, including women’s human rights and gender equality. The States Parties should also consider the need to appoint judges with legal expertise on violence against women or children.
Hibaq Said Hashi left Somalia for fear of persecution by Al-Shabaab. She was divorced from one man and married to a second man, but her former husband claimed they were not divorced and she was having sexual relations with another man, which caused Al-Shabaab to call for her to be stoned. Her father helped her leave Somalia and then he was killed, and her current husband was sentenced to death. She traveled to Italy by boat, was registered and determined she was pregnant, but she faced poor conditions in Italy so she left for Sweden to have her baby. When she learned Swedish authorities planned to send her back to Italy, she and her son moved to Denmark where she applied for asylum. She claimed that if she returned to Somalia she would be persecuted and if she returned to Italy she would face harsh living conditions and would not be able to provide for her son’s basic needs. She was ordered to leave Denmark to return to Italy, which Denmark considered her first country of asylum. Upon appeal, the Committee, acting under article 5(4) of the Optional Protocol, decided that the removal of Hibaq Said Hashi and her son to Italy without any assurances from Italy that it would receive her and her son in conditions suitable for her child’s age and family’s vulnerable status would violate their rights under article 7 of the Covenant. The Committee required Denmark to review her claim in consideration of its obligations under the Covenant and the need to obtain effective assurances from Italy. While considering her request for asylum, the Committee requested that Denmark not deport her and her son.
Mr. Semanza was a former mayor of Bicumbi commune, and was accused of aiding and abetting genocide in connection with two massacres of Tutsis. He was specifically alleged to have directly participated in murder and torture, and for inciting a crowd to rape Tutsi women prior to killing them, and to have personally participated in the same. The Trial Chamber found that Mr. Semanza was guilty of a crime against humanity for his rape, torture, and murder of Tutsi women. This case is notable for scaling back the definition of rape adopted by the Appeal Chamber of the ICTR in the Akayesu and Musema judgments. Relying on the Kunarac decision of the Appeal Chamber of the ICTY, the Trial Chamber in this case adopted a more limited view of the definition of rape, relying on the mechanical definition requiring physical “non-consensual penetration” of the victim. The Trial Chamber did acknowledge that other acts of sexual violence that do not satisfy this definition of rape may still be prosecuted as crimes against humanity “such as persecution, enslavement or other inhumane acts.”
Musema, the accused, was the director of a tea factory during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and was accused of organizing and taking part in attacks on Tutsi communes. The Trial Chamber found that Musema had taken part in at least four separate attacks, and that he personally participated in a rape and in so doing, had encouraged others to rape the victim. Musema was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Chamber adopted the definition of rape and sexual violence set forth in the landmark Akayesu decision, and further stated that “variations on the acts of rape may include acts which involve the insertions of objects and/or the use of bodily orifices not considered to be intrinsically sexual.” Concurring with the approach set forth in Akayesu, the Chamber stated that the “essence of rape is not the particular details of the body parts and objects involved, but rather the aggression that is expressed in a sexual manner under conditions of coercion.” The Trial Chamber also recognized that due to the ongoing evolution and incorporation of the understanding of rape into principles of international law, “a conceptual definition is preferable to a mechanical definition of rape” because it will “better accommodate evolving norms of criminal justice.” The Judgment against this defendant is notable for defining rape as an element of genocide, as the Akayesu case had done, and also as a crime against humanity.
This case concerned the war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children in DRC. Under Article 75 of the Rome Statute, in determining reparations (including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation), the ICC should consider the scope and extent of any damage and the harm caused to the victims. The Prosecutor encourages a gender-inclusive approach, promoting reparations that contribute to advance gender equality. In Lubanga the ICC advanced this approach by emphasising that the court should consider the needs of victims of sexual or gender-based violence and prioritize vulnerable victims (especially when plastic surgery or HIV treatments are necessary) and severely traumatized children. The ICC should also grant reparations without discrimination on grounds of “gender, age, race, colour, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, sexual orientation, national, ethnic or social origin, wealth, birth or other status.” In fact, reparations should address any underlying injustices and avoid replicating discriminatory practices and the further stigmatisation of victims.
Mr. Bemba was president of the “Movement for the Liberation of the Congo” (“MLC”) and Commander-in-Chief of its military unit, the Armée de Libération du Congo (“ALC”), in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”). In these roles, Mr. Bemba had effective authority and control over the MLC, as well as the ALC troops. The ICC found Mr. Bemba criminally responsible for rape, both as a war crime and a crime against humanity, committed by his armed forces during the course of the 2002-2003 U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (“CAR”). The ICC held that Mr. Bemba failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures to prevent or repress the commission of such crimes by his armed forces. This decision is important because it represents the ICC’s first verdict to hold that leaders are accountable for the crimes perpetrated by their subordinates. By employing the doctrine of command responsibility, the ICC’s goal is to prevent leaders from avoiding repercussions for crimes (including sexual crimes) that are committed by the troops under their control.
Mr. Katanga was the leader of the Patriotic Resistance Force (“PRF”) in Ituri, an opposition group in DRC, and was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to an attack against the village of Bogoro. The Pre-Trial Chamber found that the PRF forces committed acts of rape and sexual slavery: Mr. Katanga’s combatants abducted, sexually enslaved, and physically abused women. Mr. Katanga was found guilty as an accessory to war crimes on four counts: i.e., murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property, and pillaging. He was also found guilty as an accessory to murder constituting a crime against humanity. However, he was acquitted on the charges of rape and sexual slavery committed by the PRF forces because the crimes could not be attributed to him; it could not be proved that the crimes were common practice among the combatants. Despite Mr. Katanga’s acquittal, this case is particularly significant as it was the first case in which crimes of sexual violence, including rape and sexual slavery, were charged.
Between December 6 and 8, 1982 a specialized group of the Guatemalan armed forces executed 251 members of the “Las Dos Erres” community. Among those killed were women and children. Women and girls, in particular, were raped and subjected to forced abortion. Soldiers beat pregnant women, at times jumping on their stomachs causing miscarriage. The case was brought before the Inter-American Court following the State’s inability or unwillingness to seek justice on behalf of the victims and their next of kin. The case against the State alleged violations of Article 1(1): the obligation to respect the rights enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights; Article 8: the right to a fair trial; and Article 25: the right to judicial protection and enforcement. The Court held that the investigation carried out by the Guatemalan State was insufficient and that the State has a positive obligation to diligently investigate the facts of a given case. With regard to women’s rights, the Court found that the Convention of Belém do Pará, which requires that states diligently investigate and punish acts of violence against women, applied to the present case even though the Convention was not in effect at the time of the massacre. The Court found that the act of raping women during the conflict was a state practice “directed to destroying the dignity of women at a cultural, social, family and individual level” (Case of the “Las dos Erres” Massacre ¶139). The State’s failure to investigate and punish the crimes committed was held to be a violation of the American Convention and the Convention of Belém do Pará and the Court ordered the State to provide various forms of reparation including: restitution, rehabilitation and guarantees of non-repetition. In addition the Court ordered the State to “locate, prosecute, and punish the masterminds and perpetrators” (Case of the “Las dos Erres” Massacre ¶229), prohibited amnesty and mandated that alleged acts of torture and violence against girls and women, in particular, be investigated.
Entre el 6 y el 8 de diciembre de 1982, un grupo especializado de las fuerzas armadas guatemaltecas ejecutó a 251 miembros de la comunidad conocida como "Las Dos Erres." Entre los muertos había mujeres y niños. Las mujeres y las niñas, en particular, fueron violadas y sometidas a abortos forzados cuando los soldados golpearon a las mujeres embarazadas, a veces saltando sobre sus estómagos, causando así abortos involuntarios. El caso se presentó ante la Corte Interamericana tras la incapacidad o falta de voluntad del Estado en reclamar justicia en nombre de las víctimas y sus familiares. El caso contra el Estado alegó violaciones al artículo 1 (1): la obligación de respetar los derechos consagrados en la Convención Americana sobre Derechos Humanos; Artículo 8: el derecho a un juicio justo; y Artículo 25: el derecho a la protección judicial y la ejecución. La Corte determinó que la investigación realizada por el gobierno guatemalteco había sido insuficiente y que el Estado tiene la obligación de investigar diligentemente los hechos de cada caso. Con respecto a los derechos de las mujeres, la Corte determinó que la Convención de Belém do Pará, que exige que los estados investiguen y castiguen con diligencia los actos de violencia contra las mujeres, se aplicaban al presente caso, aunque la Convención no estuviera vigente en el momento de la masacre. El Tribunal determinó que el acto de violar a las mujeres en épocas de conflicto era una práctica estatal "dirigida a destruir la dignidad de las mujeres a nivel cultural, social, familiar e individual" (Caso de la Masacre de "Las dos Erres", párrafo 139). El hecho de que el Estado no investigara y sancionara los delitos cometidos era una violación de la Convención Americana. La Convención de Belém do Pará y la Corte le ordenaron al Estado proporcionar diversas formas de reparación, entre ellas: restitución, rehabilitación, y garantías de no repetición. Además, la Corte le ordenó al gobierno "localizar, procesar y sancionar a los autores intelectuales y perpetradores" (Caso de la Masacre de "Las dos Erres", párrafo 229), y le prohibió la amnistía, ordenando que los presuntos actos de tortura y violencia contra niñas y mujeres fueran investigados con particularidad.
Mr. Jean Paul Akayesu served as the mayor of the Taba commune and was responsible for maintaining law and public order in Taba during the tragic events which took place in Rwanda in 1994. The court held that Mr. Akayesu had knowledge of the killing of thousands of Tutsis in Taba, but did not attempt to prevent such acts even though he had the duty to do so. Moreover, Mr. Akayesu was involved and even took an active role in some instances. In addition, the court held that Mr. Akayesu had knowledge of sexual assaults of civilians who sought refuge at the bureau communal by armed local militia but did not attempt to prevent such acts even though he had the duty to do so. The court found that Mr. Akayesu was guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. On appeal, the Appeal Chambers dismissed Mr. Akayesu claims and upheld the judgment of the court a quo. This case is important because it established for the first time that sexual violence constitutes a crime against humanity and a tool of genocide by a government official. It is also worth noting that the court’s broad definitions of rape and sexual violence were the first of their kind in international law.
While the victim was sleeping, her partner Sebastian Javier Parra Godoy attacked her by striking her in the head. She suffered near-fatal head injuries as a result of the blow. On February 5, 2013, the criminal court in the province of Angol found Mr. Godoy guilty of the crime of attempted intimate femicide. In their ruling, the judges explicitly referenced the fact that the case presented a case of gender-based violence. It concluded that that Parra Godoy had acted as a result of traditional views considering women as subordinate perpetuating stereotypes of violence and coercion. The court stated that in such cases, international standards of human rights such as the Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Punish and Eradication of Violence Against Women and the general recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) should apply. The prosecutor Raul Espinoza explained that the main challenge of the case was the absence of direct evidence because the only potential witnesses were the victim, who was sleeping at the time of the attack and who suffered neurological damage which affected her memory, and the victim’s autistic son, who was mentally handicapped. To bring the case, he relied instead on strong circumstantial evidence.
In a radio speech, President Lasana Conté of Guinea called on the citizens and armed forces of Guinea to engage in mass discrimination against Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea. This allegedly resulted in numerous human rights violations against the refugees, including the widespread rape of Sierra Leonean women in Guinea. According to the complaint, Sierra Leonean women were raped as a way to "punish them for being so-called rebels." The soldiers and civilians used weapons to intimidate and threaten the women. The women were of various ages and were raped in such places such as homes, prisons, and refugee camps. The Commission expressed understanding for countries such as Guinea that take on refugees from war-torn nations, and noted that such countries may be justified in taking some measures to ensure the security of their citizens. However, based on eyewitness testimony and other evidence, the Commission determined that the situation in Guinea at the time of President Lasana Conté's speech led to violations of the refugees' human rights under the African Charter. It requested that a Joint Commission of the Sierra Leonean and Guinean governments be formed to determine the extent of the losses and how to compensate the victims.
In the summer of 1992, during an assault on the non-Serb civilian population of Foča in the early months of the Bosnian War, Radovan Stanković, a member of the Republika Srpska Army, established a small detention center for women at an apartment known as “The Brothel.” He and others brought at least nine non-Serb females, most of whom were minors, to the apartment and detained them there. Between August and November 1992, Stanković repeatedly raped one woman and her underage sister and incited other soldiers who visited the apartment to rape the detainees. In addition, Stanković forced the victims to perform physical labor, including cooking for the soldiers, washing the soldiers’ uniforms, and bathing the soldiers. In 2002, Stanković was arrested by the NATO peacekeeping force, KFOR, and transferred to the ICTY. The ICTY referred Stanković’s case to the Court of BiH in 2005. One year later, the Court of BiH convicted Stanković of Crimes against Humanity (enslavement, imprisonment, torture, and rape) under Article 172(1) of the Criminal Code of BiH and sentenced him to sixteen years imprisonment. In 2007, a panel of the Appeals Division increased the prison term to twenty years. Stanković appealed his sentence, which the ICTY and The Hague Court of Appeal upheld. This case is notable because it was the first time the ICTY referred a case to a court of national jurisdiction.
Second instance verdict available in English here.
Between April 1992 and November 1993, during the Bosnian War, Gojko Janković, a paramilitary leader within the Srpska Republika Army, participated in a widespread and systematic attack on the non-Serb civilian population of Foča. Janković’s unit methodically captured civilians, detained them separately according to gender, and killed dozens of men. During this time, Janković raped at least five girls and women; the soldiers under his command raped scores more. In addition, Janković and a co-perpetrator kept two teenage girls in sexual slavery at a nearby house for over one year. In 2005, Janković voluntarily surrendered and was transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”). Shortly thereafter, the Referral Branch of the ICTY referred Janković’s case to the Court of BiH. In 2007, the Court of BiH found Janković guilty of Crimes against Humanity under Article 172(1) of the Criminal Code of BiH and sentenced him to 34 years imprisonment. In 2010, Janković appealed his conviction to the ICTY, arguing the Court of BiH convicted him under a law, the Criminal Code of BiH, which did not exist at the time his crimes were committed. The ICTY denied his appeal.
Second instance verdict available in English here.
In 2007, the Court of BiH found Radmilo Vuković, a member of the Republika Srpska Army, guilty of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1) of the Criminal Code of BiH for raping a Bosnian woman at least six times between June and August 1992, the early months of the Bosnian War. In 2008, a panel of the Appellate Division acquitted Vuković of these charges, finding the testimonies of the claimant and her sister to be inconsistent and thus not credible. First, the Court noted factual inconsistencies between the testimony of the claimant and her sister (e.g., the date of the first assault, whether the claimant told her mother of the assault). Second, the Court found the testimonies of the claimant and her sister were inconsistent with prior statements they had given in 1994 and 2001. Third, the Court noted that two defense witnesses testified that Vuković and the claimant were cohabiting partners engaged in an extramarital affair before the Bosnian War (however, the claimant denied any relationship). Lastly, the Court questioned why the claimant did not obtain an abortion to terminate the pregnancy resulting from the alleged rape once she was in safe territory. This case is notable because of the demanding standard set by the court regarding the testimony of rape victims: “The testimony of the injured party must not raise any suspicion as to its exactness and truthfulness, credibility and integrity of the witness exactly because the act of rape, as a rule, is never attended by a witness who might decisively support the testimony of the injured party.” This case is also notable because the Court considered the claimant’s decision to not have an abortion to be evidence that a rape had not occurred.
Second instance verdict available in English here.
From the spring of 1992 to the autumn of 1993, during the Bosnian War, Predrag Kujundžić, a commander in the local military and later police force, led several attacks against non-Serb civilians in Doboj. During that time, he incited, aided, and abetted the murder, rape, imprisonment, and persecution of non-Serb civilians. In addition, from June to December 1992, Kujundžić forced a Muslim minor into sexual slavery by use of force and threats to kill the victim’s mother and younger sister. Kujundžić repeatedly raped the victim, forced her to have sexual intercourse with soldiers, and controlled every aspect of her life. In 2009, the Court of BiH found Kujundžić guilty of Crimes against Humanity under Article 172(1) of the Criminal Code of BiH. The Court found several aggravating circumstances present in Kujundžić’s case, including Kujundžić’s status as a commander, the motives for the attack, the large number of victims, and the fact that the victim of rape and sexual slavery was a minor. The Court accordingly sentenced Kujundžić to 22 years imprisonment. A panel of the Appellate Division later reduced his prison sentence to 17 years.
Second instance verdict available in English here.
In September 1992, during the Bosnian War, the Army of BiH attacked Serb houses in the village of Džepi. During this assault, Ćerim Novalić and an unidentified soldier entered a home to see if the couple was hiding Serbs. While the unidentified soldiers interrogated the husband about his neighbors of Serb ethnicity, Novalić forced the wife into an upstairs room and raped her. In 2010, the Court of BiH found Novalić guilty of a War Crime against a Civilian under Article 173(1) of the CC BiH and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment. The following year, a panel of the Appellate Division of the Court of BiH revised Novalić’s conviction, finding him guilty under Article 142(1) of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the law in effect at the time of Novalić’s crime. The Appellate Panel considered the “extremely humiliating manner” in which Novalić raped the victim – her underage children and mother-in-law were in an adjacent room and her husband was downstairs – and increased his sentence to eight years and six months imprisonment. This is the upper-end of the typical prison sentence mandated by the Court of BiH for one count of rape during the Bosnian War.
Second revised verdict available in English here.
In August 1992, during the Bosnian War, Slavko Lalović served as a security guard at an elementary school turned into a prison for unlawfully detained civilians in Kalinovik. While on duty, Lalović allowed two soldiers from the Republika Srpska Army to enter the makeshift prison and rape a detained woman. Lalović also treated detainees inhumanely on several occasions. In 2011, the Court of BiH found Lalović guilty of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1) of the Criminal Code of BiH. The following year, a panel of the Appellate Division revised Lalović’s sentence, convicting him under the law in effect at the time the crimes were committed, Article 142(1) of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Lalović’s five-year prison sentence remained unchanged. Notably, this is one of the few instances in which a person in a position of authority was found guilty by the Court of BiH of aiding and abetting a rape as a war crime during the Bosnian war.
Second instance verdict available in English here.
Between 1992 and 1995 during the Bosnian War, Veselin Vlahović a member of the Serbian paramilitary forces, committed various crimes against humanity against the civilian non-Serb population of Sarajevo, including murder, rape, physical and mental abuse, robbery, and enforced disappearance. His crimes were so horrific that he was known by victims as the “Monster of Grbavica.” In 2010, Vlahović was arrested in Spain and extradited to BiH. In 2013, the Court of BiH found Vlahović guilty of sixty different crimes against humanity, including 35 murders and 11 rapes, as well as torture, imprisonment, and looting. He was sentenced to forty-five years imprisonment. In 2014, the Court of BiH acquitted Vlahović of one of the 60 counts of the indictment and reduced his prison sentence to 42 years. Notably, Vlahović’s original prison sentence of 45 years was the maximum possible penalty and is the longest sentence handed down by the Bosnian war crimes court.
Second instance verdict available in English here.
In May 1993, during the Bosnian War, Velibor Bogdanović, a member of the Croatian Defence Council, and five unidentified soldiers ransacked the home of a couple in Mostar. The group stole jewelry from the home and took the husband to the local prison where he was unlawfully detained for 30 days. In addition, Bogdanović raped the wife. In 2011, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (“BiH”) found Bogdanović guilty of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1), as read together with Article 180(1) and Article 29, of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (“CC BiH”). In July 2015, the Constitutional Court of BiH overturned Bogdanović’s conviction, finding that it had been based on an inapplicable law. And in September 2015, the Appellate Division of the Court of BiH revised Bogdanović’s sentence, finding him guilty of the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 142(1) of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. The Court imposed the minimum sentence on Bogdanović – five years imprisonment – reasoning that the accused was a married father, that he had been 22-years-old at the time that he committed the crime, that he had committed no criminal offense since the war, and that he had apologized to the victim after the war and offered her assistance.
Revised second instance verdict in English available here.
In 2013, a teenage girl name Lin gathered two other girls to get revenge on another girl, C., at Guangze senior high school, Fujian Province, for insulting her. C. hid and so their plan for revenge was unsuccessful. Later that day, Lin asked someone else to take C. to a quiet neighborhood. Lin and her friend slapped C.'s face, broke her nose, pulled her hair, and made C. take off all her clothes. C. was too frightened to say no and took off all her clothes. Lin and her friend took pictures of the naked C. and shared the photos. Guangzhe District Court found that Lin and her friends assaulted the victim C. According to Article 237, Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, Lin and her friend were convicted of humiliating a woman with force and coercion. Lin was sentenced to two-years’ imprisonment, with a full suspension of the sentence. Lin’s friend, Lou, was sentenced to one-year jail time with a full suspension of the sentence. The court said that because both the defendants and the victim were under age of 18, and because the defendants were willing to cooperate with the police, tell the truth, and plead guilty, the court under Article 63, Article 67, Article 72, and Article 73 of Criminal Law of People’s Republic of China to give the two defendants a mitigated punishment of community service. The court demanded that the defendants delete all the naked photos of the victim. After the crime, the defendants’ families compensated the victim and the victim forgave the defendants.
2013年，被告人林某某认为其被陈某某辱骂，纠集楼某某、 黄某某（均为未成年女性），到福建省光泽县某中学找该校学生陈某某（女， 未成年）欲行报复。因陈某某警觉躲藏，林某某等人寻找未果。当日晚， 林某某通过他人将陈某某约出并带到光泽县某超市后面的巷子里。
林某某与楼某某先后对被害人实施打耳光、拉扯头发等殴打行为，致使被害人鼻子流血， 并叫被害人“把衣服脱光”。陈某某因害怕哭泣而不敢反抗，遂将衣裤脱光。林某某与楼某某及在场的另二名女学生对被害人围观取笑。其间楼某 某使用手机对陈某某的裸体拍摄了十余张照片并将照片传送给他人。法院经审理认为，被告人楼某某、林某某伙同他人聚众以暴力方法强制侮辱妇女，根据中华人民共和国刑法第二百三十七条，其行为已构成强制侮辱妇女罪。法院院综合考虑被告人作案时均不满十八周岁，主动归案并如实供述犯罪事实，根据刑法第六十三、六十七、七十二和七十三条，决定依法对被告人减轻处罚并适用缓刑。以强制污辱妇女罪判处林某某有期徒刑二年，缓刑二年；判处楼某某有期徒刑一年，缓刑一年。 法院要求被告人删除被害人裸照。被告人家庭案发后积极赔偿并取得对方谅解。
The cases against Daniel Martinez, Manuel Pop Sun, Reyes Collin Gualip and Lieutenant Carlos Carías, First Tribunal of Criminal Sentencing, Narco-trafficking and Crimes against the Environment (Tribunal Primero de Sentencia Penal, Narcoactividad y Delitos contra el Ambiente de Guatemala, 2011. Crimes against humanity, genocide. In 2009, following the decision in the case of the “Las dos Erres” Massacre, the Supreme Court of Justice ordered the State to continue cases against those involved is the massacres perpetrated during Guatemala’s civil war. A case was brought against Daniel Martinez, Manuel Pop Sun, Reyes Collin Gualip and Lieutenant Carlos Carías in the First Tribunal of Criminal Sentencing, Narco-trafficking and Crimes against the Environment in Guatemala. The accused were sentenced to 6,060 years in prison for crimes against humanity, including sexual violations, and the murder of 201 locals from Dos Erres, of which they will each serve the maximum of 50 years. The conviction of four members of Guatemalan Special Forces was a step towards fulfilling the requirements imposed by the Inter-American Court to end impunity in Guatemala. Another Guatemalan ex-Soldier, Pedro Pimental Rios, was sentenced to 6,060 years by a three judge panel after being extradited from the United States just months later on March 12, 2012. He will also serve the maximum sentence in Guatemala, 50 years.
Los casos son contra Daniel Martínez, Manuel Pop Sun, Reyes Collin Gualip, y el teniente Carlos Carías, Primer Tribunal de Sentencias Penales, Narco-Tráfico y Delitos contra el Medio Ambiente (Tribunal Primero de Sentencia Penal, Narcoactividad y Delitos contra el Ambiente de Guatemala, 2011). Los crímenes alegados son humanitarios y de genocidio. En 2009, tras la decisión en el caso de la Masacre de "Las dos Erres", la Corte Suprema de Justicia ordenó al Estado que continuara los casos contra los involucrados, en la masacre perpetrada durante la guerra civil de Guatemala. Los casos fueron traídos contra Daniel Martínez, Manuel Pop Sun, Reyes Collin Gualip, y el teniente Carlos Carías en el Primer Tribunal de Sentencias Penales, Narco-Tráfico y Crímenes contra el Medio Ambiente en Guatemala. Los acusados fueron sentenciados a 6,060 años de prisión por los crímenes humanitarios, incluyendo violaciones sexuales, y el asesinato de 201 lugareños de Dos Erres, de los cuales cada uno servirá el máximo de 50 años. La noción de cuatro miembros de las Fuerzas Especiales de Guatemala fue un paso hacia el cumplimiento de los requisitos impuestos por la Corte Interamericana para poner fin a la impunidad en Guatemala. Otro ex soldado guatemalteco, Pedro Pimental Rios, fue condenado a 6,060 años por un panel de tres jueces luego de ser extraditado de los Estados Unidos unos meses después, el 12 de marzo de 2012. Él también cumplirá la pena máxima en Guatemala, 50 años.
The victim was raped by a doctor on 14 November 2006 at Magunga Hospital in Korogwe District. The appeal asserted that the witness in the trail was not credible. The appellate Court concluded that it was unable to “find a ground for denting the credibility of the complainant” and “not having found any contradictions in the evidence of PW1, the victim of the sexual assault by her doctor, the appellant” . The Court recognises sextortion and goes on to say: “We agree with the learned judge that ‘ it is treacherous for one to stray away from a professional calling and turn against one amongst the very lot who bestowed their trust unto the person.’ In this case, it was treacherous for the appellant doctor to rape his patient, PW1.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to one charge of attempted rape of an 11 years and 10 months old female, under section 376(1) of the Penal Code. The court found that the complainant gave different versions as to the events that occurred. It found the complainant’s evidence unreliable. The court concluded that the complainant was the initiator of the events that led to the attempted intercourse. The court found that there was an attempt at sexual intercourse. In view of medical evidence that revealed that the hymen was intact and that ejaculation may have occurred outside the complainant, the court found doubt as to whether penetration occurred. The court highlighted that consent was not a defense to rape as the complainant was under the age of 14 at the time at issue. Nonetheless, consent becomes relevant to punishment, as a minimum sentence is prescribed for rape which occurs “without the consent of the victim”. The court found that the complainant gave her consent to the defendant’s attempt to have sexual intercourse with her and that she gave a real consent, not vitiated by immaturity or by any of the other factors specified in section 90 P.C. The court convicted the defendant of attempted rape and imposed sentences of one year imprisonment and three strokes.
The plaintiff, Ng Hoi Sze and defendant Yuen Sha Sha shared a college dorm room. Yuen Sha Sha discovered a video recorder that plaintiff’s boyfriend, Tse Chi Pan, placed in the room, which recorded Yuen Sha Sha while she was undressing. Ms. Sha Sha had Mr. Pan expelled from the University and the plaintiff was expelled from the dorm room. The plaintiff filed a nuisance claim against Ms. Sha Sha and her boyfriend, Fung Ka Fai, the other defendant, who was a student at another university. The plaintiff moved to amend the complaint to introduce a claim for sexual harassment under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, Cap. 480. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that there was unlawful sexual harassment in contravention of section 39(3) of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, Cap. 480, by the defendants’ engaging in unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the plaintiff and, consequently, the plaintiff suffered embarrassment, humiliation and shock. The plaintiff sought damages under section 76 of the Ordinance. The Ordinance stated that a person sexually harasses a woman if the person (i) makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favors to her, or (ii) engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to her in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that she would be offended, humiliated or intimidated, or the person, alone or together with other persons, engages in conduct of a sexual nature that creates a sexually hostile or intimidating work environment for her. The question in this case was whether there were allegations that the defendants, or either of them, engaged in unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the plaintiff. The first judge held that the plaintiff’s claim was facially deficient because she did not plead any sexual conduct that she found offensive. The second judge agreed with the first judge’s assertions. However, notably, the second judge stated that when a female student’s roommate engages, in their shared room, without the female student’s consent, in conduct of a sexual nature with another person, that conduct is capable of being considered sexual harassment of the female student. A reasonable person would have anticipated that the female student would be offended by such conduct. Thus, had the plaintiff simply properly pleaded what the sexually offensive conduct was, she would have stated a claim against the defendants for sexual harassment and would have been able to pursue a strong claim against the defendants.
Defendant pled guilty to two counts of throwing corrosive fluid with intent to do grievous bodily harm, in contravention of section 29(c) of the Offences Against the Person Ordinance, Cap 212. The corrosive fluid thrown was sulphuric acid, concentrated at 87%. Sulphuric acid at that concentration is highly corrosive and capable of causing severe burns to the skin and permanent damage to the eyes. His victims were his estranged wife and his 21-year-old son. At the time of the incident, Defendant was 65 and he was in the process of divorce, living apart from his estranged wife. Defendant returned to the marital home and became emotional, taking a knife and threatening his soon to be ex-wife. When his son, the second victim, saw what was occurring, he stood in front of his mother to protect her. Defendant opened a bottle of liquid and poured it on his estranged wife’s chest. The liquid also splashed onto his son. Because his wife was wearing only a nightgown and his son only underwear, both were burned. The victims rushed to the bathroom to attempt to wash off the liquid. They locked the door and called for help, but Defendant kicked the door in, causing a subsequent struggle. After the situation ended, the victims were taken to a hospital, where it was determined that Defendant’s estranged wife suffered 38% body burns and the son suffered 25% surface burns. The Court noted that “[acid throwing] is a very serious offence of a type which sadly occurs far too often in Hong Kong. . . . The offender aims to punish the victim for the emotional damage and to ensure that the victim is disfigured or incapacitated. The defendant here was intent on punishing the first victim for proceeding with the divorce.” The maximum penalty for acid throwing is life imprisonment. In this case, the judge passed down a sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.
The claimant, of Tajik descent, had a high school diploma, was an active member of a left-leaning political organization, and was a volunteer teacher for girls while she lived in Afghanistan. The Taliban arrested a friend of the claimant who worked for UNICEF and had also pressured the claimant’s family to provide details about her whereabouts. Once the Taliban occupied her village, she and her husband hid with a relative before traveling to the Netherlands. In 2008, the claimant filed an application on behalf of herself and her minor children (two daughters and a son) under the Aliens Act 2000, citing Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The claimant argued that they were subject to inhumane treatment if they were forced to return to Afghanistan. The District Court noted that the policy relied upon did not take into account the situation of Westernized women in Afghanistan, who were at risk just having lived in Westernized society. The District Court noted that the evidence showed that not only was security a risk to all in Afghanistan, but that treatment of women and girls had deteriorated even further since the rejection of the 2003 application. Finally, the District Court referred to reports submitted in the case, noting that women returning to Afghanistan from Europe or Iran are perceived as having violated religious and social norms and, as a result, are subject to honor crimes, domestic violence, isolation and other forms of punishment. The District Court found the claimant’s appeal to be well-founded, destroyed the contested decision, and ordered the government to issue a decision taking the District Court’s findings into consideration.
The claimant was born in Somalia and left the country when her home was destroyed and four men attempted to rape her. The claimant sought residence in the Netherlands as a refugee under Immigration Act 2000. She argued that women in Central and Southern Somalia were systematically exposed to inhuman treatment. The claimant submitted reports that abuse and rape of women, by civilians and armed groups, was frequent, and that displaced women were particularly vulnerable during their flight. Gang rape was widespread, and victims (including young girls and boys) were selected at random. Further, rape is almost never prosecuted and the victims are discriminated against because they are seen as “unclean.” The report further stated that women in Somalia do not have access to justice and receive no protection from authorities. Human Rights Watch and UN reports also described women as suffering the brunt of abuse and repression cultivated by al-Shabaab’s decrees, including forced marriage, female genital mutilation (“FGM”) and gender-based violence. The District Court opined that women are in a vulnerable position in Central and Southern Somalia and, therefore, run the risk of suffering violence and human rights violations, and cannot obtain effective protection. They are therefore a group worthy of protection from inhuman treatment and torture.
Mr. Katise was arrested when police were called to his home and found that he had attacked his wife. Charges for domestic violence under South Africa’s Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 were eventually repealed and after suing for unlawful arrest and detention on the grounds that there was no warrant for his arrest, Mr. Katise was awarded damages. In an appeal, the judge overturned this ruling, citing s 40(1)(q) of the Criminal Procedure Act which allows peace officers to arrest anyone reasonably suspected of violating the Domestic Violence Act of 1998. The judge in this case took an important stand against leniency on domestic violence cases, giving peace officers far more latitude to protect the rights of women and furthering the protection of women’s rights in South Africa, a country marred by sexual violence.
Rosaria, a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl, was raped by defendant teacher, and consequently contracted a venereal disease. The rape occurred in the defendant's home, which Rosaria entered with the intent of picking up some past school papers that the defendant had failed to bring to school on multiple occasions. After bringing this incident to the Head Teacher's attention, it was uncovered that the defendant had done this before, that measures had been taken to warn or protect students from the defendant, that the defendant had only received a verbal warning, and that the previous student victim had transferred to another school. In his defense, the defendant claimed that he was in a relationship with Rosaria, to which she consented, as evidenced by a Valentine's Day card that Rosaria had given him. The High Court held that the defendant breached the duty of care that he owed to his pupils and was therefore negligent, noting that it is the duty of a school teacher to care for his pupils, as would a father for his family. The Court reasoned that school teachers are in a position of moral superiority, and a young schoolgirl's "consent" is fictitious in light of the ethics compelling a teacher to not engage in sexual relations with schoolgirls, a young girl's cognitive inability to truly consent, as well as Section 138 of the penal code, which states that defilement of a girl under the age of 16 is an offense. Notably, the Court held that society's indignation of this type of behavior ought to be reflected in the amount of damages awarded. The Court entered a judgment in favor of Rosaria for K 45,000,000 for her pain and suffering, medical expenses, aggravated damages, and mental torture. Furthermore, the Court held that the School, Ministry of Education, and the Attorney General are vicariously liable for this judgment, noting that the government is responsible for all school going children in the care of its agents, including teachers like the defendant.
The High Court reversed the trial court’s conviction of a man who had raped a four or five-year-old child. He had penetrated the vagina before two people stopped him. A physical exam showed her hymen was torn. A doctor also found a cut on the man’s penis consistent with an injury from forced sex. The Supreme Court reinstated the trial court’s conviction. This case is important because the Court stated that a rape conviction could be sustained solely on the basis of testimony of the victim. In addition, the Supreme Court stated that rape victims should not be treated like accomplices in a crime and that their testimony, instead, should be viewed as the testimony of an injured witness. The Supreme Court also stated that the testimony of a rape victim should receive “great weight.” In this case, however, the Supreme Court found that there was a great deal of corroborating evidence in addition to the testimony of the victim.
The appellant, convicted of hiring two workers to kill her abusive husband, argued for a reduced sentence. The court held that a lesser sentence is permitted only when there are "truly convincing" circumstances or where a life sentence is disproportionate or unjust. Expert testimony regarding battering and its effects showed how her behavior fit a well-known pattern for abused women. The court found this testimony convincing and held that the appellant's use of third parties to kill her husband did not invalidate her claim to be a victim of battering. Additionally, the court held that appellant's failure to testify should have no effect on her credibility. The court reduced her sentence but declined to acquit the appellant because of the premeditated nature of the act.
This case involved a public interest petition filed by a group of NGOs for enforcement of the Constitution's protection of women's rights and international women's rights norms. The victim was gang-raped and before the rape had complained of 13 to the authorities, but there was no response. The court held that 13 is a violation of gender equity and the right to life and liberty and the government must provide safeguards to prevent such harassment from happening.
The appellant was convicted of defilement of a girl under the age of 14 years and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with ten strokes of the cane. The appellant appealed his conviction and the sentence as being excessive for a first offense. The Court dismissed the appeal of the conviction as the complainant identified the appellant and medical evidence is no longer necessary to convict an accused if the evidence was sufficiently cogent. The "defilement" conviction was substituted with rape and the appellant was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
The plaintiff wife sought a decree of divorce on the grounds of the defendant's desertion on the grounds that the defendant abused her and drove her out of the matrimonial home to live with another woman. The Court found that the defendant was previously married through Lesotho customary law to the other woman at the time of the marriage to the plaintiff; thus, the defendant's marriage to the plaintiff was null and void. However, the Court declared that the relationship was a "putative marriage" for the purposes of dividing the plaintiff and defendant's joint property.
The Court recognized the special constitutional protection that women displaced by armed conflict are entitled to, as well as international obligations applicable to women displaced by armed conflict. The Court ordered the creation of programs to bring attention to the plight of displaced women and to strengthen their constitutional rights. The court also granted protective orders to more than 600 displaced women. Finally, the court alerted the Attorney General of numerous sexual crimes committed against women during Colombia's armed conflict.
Court recognized the special vulnerability of women in situations of armed conflict and ordered the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice, as well as the Attorney General, to implement and revise programs to protect victims and witnesses of armed conflicts, consistent with national and international law and practice.
In this public interest litigation, the Court reaffirmed that the equal pay for equal work provision of the constitution is valid, and that the employer, whether public or private, is responsible for enforcing it and taking prompt disciplinary action when violations occur.
In a case of domestic violence, under the 2005 Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, the Delhi High Court upheld the Magistrate Court's injunctive order to allow the wife and some of her family to remain in the marital home until the case was fully prosecuted.
In 2010, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice held a conference in Washington, DC to discuss advances and obstacles to securing justice for women and girls in conflict and post-conflict areas.
Report by Timor-Leste Armed Violence Assessment, examining the scale and magnitude of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) directed against women and girls in Timor-Leste (November, 2009).
This consultation paper written for the Law Commission of India discusses whether there is a need for a specific legal apparatus to provide relief to the victims of tragedies and manmade disasters.