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Dublin: 23 °C Wednesday 23 July, 2014

Pregnant teenager receives jail term after being gang-raped

The jail term has been suspended because of her pregnancy but she has also been fined around €640.

Image: Jerome Delay/AP/PA

A PREGNANT SUDANESE teenager has been handed a one-month jail term for “indecent acivity” after being gang-raped, according to her lawyer.

“But the sentence was suspended because she is pregnant,” Samia Hashmi told AFP.

The woman was also fined 5,000 pounds (€640).

A man whose video of others having sex with the pregnant Ethiopian teen created a rare case of Internet controversy in the conservative nation was sentenced to 40 lashes the lawyer said.

Hashmi said three men who admitted to having sex with the woman were sentenced to 100 lashes while another man who filmed the acts received the 40-lash penalty for distributing indecent material.

“He was also fined 10,000 pounds and if he doesn’t pay he will be jailed for six months,” the lawyer said, adding two other men were acquitted after the trial in Khartoum.

The video published on social media showed sex acts and some of the men laughing.

Despite the popularity of mobile messaging service WhatsApp in Sudan, this was a rare case of such a crime being publicly flaunted in the conservative nation, where women risk flogging for leaving their hair uncovered under morality laws which took effect after the 1989 Islamist-backed coup by President Omar al-Bashir.

The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network), a regional association of women’s groups, said the 18-year-old pregnant woman was lured to an empty property and attacked while house-hunting last year.

Arrests were made after publication of the video in January, SIHA Network said on its website.

Hala Elkarib, the group’s regional director, said the verdict reflects the substantial challenges victims of sexual violence face in pursuing justice.

“It will also serve to prevent future victims from speaking out and seeking assistance and entrenches a culture of impunity for perpetrators,” Elkarib said.

- © AFP 2014 with additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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