BBC reports two of five Nigerian men at ABSU who raped a young woman, have been arrested. Read the story here. Independent of the above, this story is beginning to gain momentum in the international community. Change.org a reputable organization with a very large database of journalists worldwide, has just endorsed the petition to prosecute and convict the five rapists I discussed here.
A special shout out to my fellow blogger/media colleagues aka fellow “game changers” starting with Bloggers Linda Ikeji, Olamild Yorubagurl, Uche Eze and Glory Edozen of Bella Naija, Ari Jaguda of Jaguda.com, Sahara Reporters, Sugabelly.com, YNaija.com and every blogger who has written about this story and been active in compelling the government to do something about this.
I am very proud of you all.
There’s a desperate search on for a female university student in Nigeria. Some want to silence her. Others want to protect her.
On August 16, the unidentified woman was gang-raped by five male students at Abia State University — for hours, as she begged first for mercy, and then for her rapists to kill her because of the pain. And it’s all on video.
Change.org member Adetomi Aladekomo has joined bloggers and activists working to bring the victim to safety and her rapists to justice by starting a petition to Abia State University (ABSU) and state officials. Sign Adetomi’s petition to demand a full investigation into the videotaped rape in order to prosecute and convict the “ABSU 5” gang-rapists.
Over the past two weeks, bloggers and individuals around the world have put up reward money and used video imaging software to try to identify the victim and the rapists — when the police should have been doing this all along. Unbelievably, state authorities have so far stymied efforts, preferring to deny the rape ever even happened under their watch. Local women’s groups fear that they’re even out to silence the victim, perpetuating a culture of fear and shame around rape in Nigeria, where such crimes are dramatically under-reported and under-prosecuted.
Adetomi, who grew up in Nigeria until she was seventeen, knows that international outcry around the gang rape at ABSU will be decisive in protecting the victim and bringing justice. With the whole world watching, the victim may have the courage to come forward and press charges — and other women who’ve been raped may come forward, too, when they previously would not have.
In fact, it was because of Change.org members and international outcry earlier this year that a woman who had created a Change.org petition from inside a Cape Town safe house was able to come out and seek justice for her partner, who had been gang-raped and killed to ‘cure’ her of being a lesbian.
Global pressure is as important today as it was then. Demand the “ABSU 5” gang-rapists who videotaped their own crime pay for it with prison time. Sign Adetomi’s petition now, and then send it to everyone you know.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
Shelby and the Change.org team