Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Child Rape in Sudan

Back in March or April, the BBC Arabic did a report on child rape in Sudan.

The hard questions were asked by Malak Jaafar:

 Malak Jaafar

Malak spoke with two guests via telephone or video. The sound was blurry, or maybe I am unused to the Sudanese accent, so I only caught bits and pieces. 
One of the guests was called Mr. Suliman. He represented Sudan's government. The other guest was Ms. Amil. She is an activist for children's rights. 

Mr. Suliman started off by saying, in response to one of Malak's questions: No, we do not treat rape victims as adulterers. We are talking about a nine-year-old girl who's been raped. 

Then he mentioned a special law that protects kids. 

Malak turned next to Ms. Amil. 

Malak: if a child has been raped, what happens when the parents turn to the courts or try to find lawyers?

Ms. Amil: they face many problems. 

But I didn't catch the details. I only caught her saying that before the new law was passed in 2010, a rapist's punishment could not exceed a seven-year jail term, and a 14-year-old girl who had been raped was tried for adultery. 

Ms. Amil said that rapists were protected by societal norms, or something like that. 

Malak: but how can you claim society protects the rapists? Mr. Suliman said the law does not protect rape, nor does it allow girls to be tried for adultery. How does the law get twisted around from its original intent?

Whatever Ms. Amil said, I didn't understand. 

Then Malak turned back to Mr. Suliman. 

Malak: There have been 3000 cases of child rape recorded by the courts (I didn't catch the time period referenced.) Why is this number on the rise?

Suliman: Sound too blurry. I think he said: you can't trust those numbers, and we've taken many protective measures. 

Malak: so you doubt the numbers from your courts?

Suliman: no!

Malak: you know, Suliman, if there's hundreds of rape cases recorded, that means there's many more that go unrecorded because parents are afraid their daughters will get a bad reputation. This happens in conservative societies like Sudan. So what guarantees do parents get that they can go to the courts and be treated fairly?

Suliman: ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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