Human rights organisations condemn assault, rape and attempted murder of Irene Syongula

Members of Africa Unite-Kenya chapter hold a joint press conference to condemn the rape and torture of Irene Aisha Syongula.Picture:Fred Deya.
Members of Africa Unite-Kenya chapter hold a joint press conference to condemn the rape and torture of Irene Aisha Syongula.Picture:Fred Deya.

The sexual violence on Irene Aisha Syongula, left many people dumbfounded as to what could have led to such gross inhumanity to be perpetrated against her.

When news emerged about how Syongula had been gang raped, tied to a rail track and left to die, many shed their tears of sympathy.

The Kenyan civil societies organisations that address issues related to violence against women under African Unite were forced to issue a positon statement condemning the act.

Africa UNITE is the regional component of a wide collaboration with United Nations under the umbrella of the UN Secretary General with the mandate to nurture global campaign and a continent-wide partnership to end violence against women and girls.

In a media briefing, Wangechi Wachira, co-convenor of the Africa Unite Kenya (AUKE) Chapter steering committee, they said action needed to be taken to end cases of rape and gender based violence in the country.

Wachira noted that under the auspices of the Africa UNITE Kenya chapter, in a choral voice they condemn all forms of violence against women and girls as well as boys and men.

Syongula was raped by four unknown men in Kibarani, Mombasa, sustaining severe injuries leading to her hospitalization.

According Wachira, the act anal rape on the young girl could be the latest testament to the growing impunity and disregard to human rights in the country.

Syongula was raped by four men reportedly known to her at her who left her with grave physical injuries that led to her being mentally and emotionally distressed.

Aisha was initially admitted at the Gender Based Violence Recovery Centre at the Coast General Hospital, but was forced to transfer to Aga Khan Hospital due to the ongoing doctors’ strike.

Angelina Cianda, program manager Centre for Human Rights Education and Awareness said gender based violence must be regarded one of the worst violations of human rights that affect not only the survivors but also those within the larger society.

Through Africa Unite, the organisations asked the Government to step into the centre stage in fight against GBV.

“There is no room or place for GBV in a modern Kenyan society. We urge Kenyans to help us demand for action in addressing human rights violations.”

Among issues demanded by the organizations included the launch of serious and credible investigation into Syongula’s assault by the Inspector General of Police. They also demanded that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions immediately proceeds to prosecute to the full force of law everyone involved in the assault of Syongula and another gender based violence survivor.

The latest annual report released by Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) indicates that there is a steady rise in gender based violence in Kenya especially against women who constitute 90 percent of the victims.

According to GVRC report, one out of five women are vulnerable to sexual violence in the country which then leaves 21 percent of women in Kenya at risk for sexual abuse.

Further statistical analysis by GVRC indicates that out of all sexual violence victims, 64 percent of survivors of violence know the offenders behind their ordeal.

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