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Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi
The Minova Rape Trial
Photographer: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi
Exhibit Title: The Minova Rape Trial
Location: South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Between February 12th and 19th, 2014, a temporary courtroom was set up in Minova town to hear the testimonies of resident rape victims.
On trial were 39 FARDC(Armed Forces of the DRC) soldiers, accused of participating in a 10-day run of violence in November 2012, during which more than 1000 women, children and men were raped in Minova alone. Yet only 37 soldiers faced rape charges. The attacks on civilians happened as FARDC soldiers were fleeing the rebels of the March 23 Movement(M23) who, at the time, had gained control of the key eastern city of Goma.
In 2011, the United Nations Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict dubbed the DRC the “rape capital of the world.” The Minova trial represented an advance in bringing justice to victims of rape—an unprecedentedly large number of government soldiers were accused, and there was no possibility of appeal.
Yet when the ruling came down on May 5th, 2014, only two soldiers were convicted of rape, one of whom received a life sentence.
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