The police have strongly condemned the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl in Jinja on Thursday last week.
The girl was raped by five young men in Kakira Town Council. Four of the five suspects have been arrested. They are Vincent Tenywa Isabirye, Anthony Abale, Henry Isabirye and John Buga. The fifth suspect only identified as Luke is on the run.
The victim says the gang waylaid her on her return home from Polota trading center. She claims that the men dragged her into a dark room and raped her repeatedly. She says she raised an alarm and shouted for help, but none of the people nearby attempted to rescue her.
The girl was left unconscious. In the morning, when she came to, she headed straight to the police.
The girl says she learned the names of her assailants because they argued with each other about whether or not to kill her.
Ivan Kimalyo, the Jinja district CID officer, calls the crime primitive and barbaric. He says the fact that onlookers refused to come to her help is a crime.
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A report by Amnesty International released in April this year found that while violence against women and girls is widespread in Uganda, many victims are unwilling to report the matter to the police out of fear of rejection from their communities. Other victims don't report the cases because of the poor police record in handling matters of rape and domestic violence.
Amnesty International researchers also spoke to rape victims who said they failed to convince the police that they did not consent to sex and their assailants were never arrested.
The report says women in Uganda are four times more likely than men to be targeted for both physical and domestic violence. It calls for non-discriminatory application of the laws and policies on sexual and gender-based violence and for all victims to have access to forensic medical examinations and health care. It also demands that the police and judiciary handle cases involving violence against women sensitively, professionally and expeditiously.