Veteran Brazil international striker Robinho on Thursday had a nine-year sentence for the rape of a young woman upheld by a court in Italy.
Judges of the Milan Court of Appeal confirmed the sentence for both Robinho and one of his friends for group sexual violence dating back to January 2013.
Robinho was playing for AC Milan at the time of the attack and was tried in absentia in November 2017.
The pair were among a group of six men accused of taking part in the gang rape of a 22-year-old Albanian woman in a Milan nightclub.
They were both ordered to jointly pay the woman damages of 60,000 euros ($73,000).
The case against the four other accused has been suspended.
READ ALSO: Pogba Ranked Among Top 10 Error-Prone Players in EPL
Robinho, 36, who has denied the charges, has the right to again appeal the sentence within 90 days.
Robinho was forced to pull out of a move back to his first club Santos last October amid pressure brought to bear on the Brazilian club by sponsors.
Television channel Globo Sports released excerpts of a recording Italian prosecutors used to secure their conviction, in which the player purportedly says, “I’m laughing because I don’t care. The woman was completely drunk. She doesn’t even know what happened.”
Robinho started his career at Santos in 2002 and joined Real Madrid in 2005, then going on to play for Manchester City from 2008 to 2010, and Milan for four years until 2014.
He also played in China with Guangzhou Evergrande, Atletico Mineiro in Spain, and the Turkish club İstanbul Basaksehir.
He has 100 Brazil caps and 28 goals for his country.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has raised concern over the increasing cases of rape and gender violence in Niger State.
Addressing reporters on Thursday, NHRC Coordinator in Niger, Nuhu Mohammed, noted that at least 60 cases were reported to the commission annually.
Mohammed, who led a rally in Minna to mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism, stated that the figure could be higher if victims of rape and gender violence were reporting to relevant authorities.
He decried that despite the awareness in place, people still prefer to settle rape cases at home instead of seeking legal redress, a development which he said gave reason for perpetrators to continue to carry out the heinous crime.
“We have received a number of cases. The last submission we submitted to our national office was 20 cases of rape and domestic violence,” the NHRC coordinator said.
He added, “We don’t receive less than five cases on a monthly basis; those are the ones reported, some don’t like to report.
“But even those who report, by the time we want to take the necessary action before you know the victims would go behind the back door and ask for a withdrawal of their case. This is a major setback to the fight against rape and gender violence.”
Mohammed, however, gave an assurance that the NHRC would use the occasion to raise more awareness and pay advocacy visits to relevant bodies that would help in the fight against rape.
He explained that the march was organised to create more awareness for residents to see rape as a crime against the state and should not be settled at home.
“Families need to know that hiding a case of rape is an act of wickedness, especially to the victim who will continue to die in silence.
“But if the perpetrator is exposed and justice is sought for the victim, it will encourage more victims to speak up when they are violated,” the NHRC coordinator said.
On her part, the chairperson of the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Niger, Christiana Barau, commended the Federal Government for signing into law the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Act.
She believes the VAP law will further strengthen the fight against rape and other gender violence offences and stressed the need for enforcement of all the relevant laws against rape.
Barau said, “The VAP law is a right step in the right direction. It has further expanded the issue of rape and gender violence to cover not just females but all persons.
“The VAP law has also expanded the definition of rape, which means that even penetration with finger and any object is recognised as rape.”
“So, the law is a welcome development as far as FIDA is concerned. We only hope that the VAP law and all the relevant laws that are in place to fight rape are adequately enforced and that offenders are handed due punishment to serve as a deterrent to the entire society,” she added.
The Director-General of the Niger State Child’s Rights Agency, Maryam Kolo, who represented the governor’s wife, Dr Amina Abubakar, and representatives of some civil society organisations in the state participated in the march.
Nine suspected serial rapists have been arrested by police in Katsina State.
All from Kwadage village in Mai’adua Local Government Area of the state, the suspects are reported to have serially raped a 14-year-old girl.
The Police Spokesman, Gambo Isah disclosed this on Wednesday at the command headquarters, Katsina in a press briefing to showcase the recent achievements made by the command in the fight against Banditry, Kidnapping, Cattle rustling, and other forms of crime and criminality in the state.
According to Isah, “the fact of the rape case was that on 06/11/2020 at about 14:20hrs, one Mua’zu Yakubu m, aged 40 years of Kwadage village of Mai’adua Local Government Area of the state reported at Mai’adua Division that at different dates and times the nine suspects comprising 60-year-old man, Musa Haru all of the same address lured his daughter of the same address and had an unlawful carnal knowledge of her.”
“In the course of the investigation, suspects confessed to the commission of the offense. Victims were taken to the comprehensive health center, Mai’adua for medical examination which shows that suspect, Shafi’u Mamman, and the victim have tested positive for HIV.”
The police command also said it had arrested 16 other notorious suspects in connection with various crimes ranging from banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, and cattle rustling.
Before their arrest, the suspects were reportedly hibernating at Illela forest, terrorising Safana, Batsari, Katsina, and Dandume Local Government Areas of the state.
Also arrested was a 24-year-old Indian hemp dealer, Isiya Lawal of Makama road in Dandume Local Government Area of the state and recovery of a large number of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp.
Authorities in Pakistan’s most populous province on Saturday banned an outdated medical procedure in which rape victims are subjected to an invasive physical examination.
The move comes after critics of the “two-finger test” this year sued the government of Punjab province, home to about 110 million people, in a bid to stop the practice dating back to the time of British colonial rule.
Proponents of the internal examination claim it can assess a woman’s sexual promiscuity and her “honour”, and whether she had been “habituated to sexual intercourse”.
Backlash to the test has been growing in recent years, with critics saying it provides zero useful information and is traumatic for rape victims.
Punjab health authorities in September admitted the test held “limited evidentiary value” but the practice continued.
Saturday’s ban, which takes immediate effect across Punjab, effectively preempts the ongoing court case.
A similar case is also underway in the southern province of Sindh with momentum growing for a nationwide ban.
Welcoming Punjab’s ban, Sidra Humayun, a case manager for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, told AFP it would be a challenge to ensure compliance by medical workers.
The mentality that still “links the reliability of a rape victim’s claims to her virtue and honour” in legal cases also must be addressed, she added.
The World Health Organization has declared the test “unscientific, medically unnecessary and unreliable”.
Neighbouring India banned the two-finger test in 2013 and Bangladesh followed suit in 2018.
Sameer Khosa, the lawyer behind Punjab’s court petition, welcomed the ban but said other problematic practices such as virginity testing through the examination of the hymen are still being performed.
Pakistan is a deeply conservative and patriarchal nation where victims of sexual abuse often are too afraid to speak out, or where police frequently fail to investigate cases seriously.
The rape and murder in Algeria of a 19-year-old woman sparked cries for action on gender-based violence in the North African country and calls to bring back capital punishment.
The body of the young woman, identified as Chaima, was found in early October at a deserted petrol station in Thenia, 80 kilometres (50 miles) east of the capital Algiers.
She had been beaten, raped and burned alive, according to local media.
The suspect, who has reportedly confessed, is being charged with “rape and voluntary homicide with premeditation and ambush, using torture”.
Chaima’s mother said the man was an acquaintance of the family, against whom the young woman had previously pressed rape charges in 2016.
The killing set off a wave of outrage on social media in Algeria, where internet users condemned the “heinous” crime and demanded justice, with many calling for the death penalty, under moratorium in the country since 1993.
A message shared widely online reads: “I am Chaima, I was raped in 2016 and I had the courage to press charges in a conservative society. I am still Chaima, it is 2020 and I have again been raped by the same rapist, who stabbed and burned me. #IAmChaima.”
– Death penalty –
In a video that circulated on social networks and was picked up by local TV stations, Chaima’s mother directly addressed Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and demanded the execution of the perpetrator.
Many Algerians also took to social media in support of reinstating the death penalty.
“Execution should be applied to the killer, to be an example for all those who think of doing the same thing,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another said: “We must open the debate on the death penalty, the monster who killed her has no place in society or in prison.”
But others in the country rejected execution as the best way to deter femicide, the gender-related killing of women and girls.
Femicides Algeria, a group that tracks such homicides, said: “It is not through the death penalty that we will give her (Chaima) justice, it is rather the law that must be changed and applied.”
The activists have counted 38 femicides in Algeria so far this year.
They recorded 60 in 2019, noting on their website that with so many cases going unreported or unconfirmed, the actual number “is much higher”.
– ‘Break the silence’ –
Hassina Oussedik, director for human rights group Amnesty International in Algeria, told AFP that “the death penalty is not a deterrent”.
“It is discriminatory and does not protect the most vulnerable.”
She added it was necessary to “change mentalities and the judicial system for the psychological and legal care of victims, launch national awareness campaigns, open shelters and train the various institutions”.
The Free and Independent Women’s Collective of Bejaia, a city on Algeria’s northeast coast, said Chaima’s killing “adds to the long list of femicides, which continues to grow in the face of complicit silence, the justification of violence and the absence of real measures”.
To “break the silence”, the collective called for a protest on Thursday in Bejaia.
The calls for action and solidarity have spread across the country.
The Algerian Women for Change Toward Equality group also organised a rally on Thursday, in Algiers, to “denounce the heinous crimes” that led to Chaima’s death and those of the 38 women killed this year.
India’s federal investigators will take over the probe into the alleged gang-rape and murder of a low-caste teenaged woman that has sparked nationwide outrage and days of protests.
The 19-year-old woman from the marginalised Dalit community was attacked in mid-September in northern Uttar Pradesh state and died on Tuesday, in the latest case highlighting India’s epidemic of sexual violence.
Five senior police officers have already been suspended over the investigation amid criticism of law enforcement’s actions — including the cremation of the woman’s body in the middle of the night against the wishes of her family.
The chief minister of the state — India’s most populous with 200 million people — announced the decision to transfer the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation late Saturday.
“We are committed to giving the strictest punishment to the people responsible for this incident,” Yogi Adityanath, who is from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), wrote on Twitter.
The police have arrested four high-caste men on the charges of gang-rape and murder.
Local authorities barricaded the village after the cremation to block opposition politicians and media from meeting the victim’s family.
The decision was reversed Saturday after widespread criticism.
The involvement of leaders of the opposition Congress party, Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi, in several demonstrations, has sparked accusations from the BJP that they were politicising the issue.
The young woman’s death comes months after four men were hanged for 2012 gang-rape and murder of a student on a bus in New Delhi, in a case that shook the nation.
An average of nearly 90 rapes were reported in India every day last year, according to data by the National Crime Records Bureau, but large numbers are thought to go unreported.
India’s 200 million low-caste Dalits have long faced discrimination, and campaigners say attacks have increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
A Nigerian army corporal has been sentenced to five years in prison by a military court martial, after he was found guilty of defiling a 13-year-old girl in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
Besides the five-year sentence, the court martial on Wednesday, also dismissed the corporal after the trial which lasted for over two years.
The 7-division General Court Martial of Operation Lafiya Dole had charged him for assault and defilement of the girl who had newly returned to her hometown after years of displacement in Maiduguri.
The prosecution had described in graphic details how Corporal Yakubu waylaid and raped the minor, abandoned her in an uncompleted building after beating her to unconsciousness.
The survivor who later gained consciousness staggered out and was sighted by a passerby who helped her home. Yakubu, on the other hand, had already fled the crime scene.
Military authorities commenced investigation when the assault was reported, leading to the identification of the suspect who had a ready-made alibi claiming that he had traveled out of Bama town on the “31st of June.”
The President of the Court martial, Brigadier-General Arikpo Ekubi, said the arraigned soldier in an attempt at defense, sought to back his claim that he was in Maiduguri at the time material to the case.
“A unit armourer from 202 tank battalion who kept a book to record passes tendered the book as exhibit “D” but it ended up strengthening the case of prosecution that the accused person traveled the very day of the incident as stated by the investigating police officer,” he explained.
According to him, “it is noteworthy that the accused person did not specifically deny assaulting the victim as he tried in respect of count one, he only relied on his failed alibi without debunking the glaring issue of assaulting the victim.”
The President of the court martial, Brigadier-General Arikpo Ekubi, while handing down the judgement described the actions of the corporal as barbaric and capable of dragging the name of the Nigerian Army in the mud.
“This court hereby sentence you as follows: Count 1: Five years imprisonment. Count 2: Dismissal from service. These sentences are, however, subject to confirmation by the prescribed authority as provided by sections 151 SS 1d and 157 ss 1b of the Armed forces Act,” Ekubi declared.
The dismissed soldier broke down in tears as he was escorted out of the courtroom.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has signed into law the amended penal code 2020 which prescribes surgical castration for a rapist upon conviction.
The development was disclosed in a statement on Wednesday by the governor’s spokesman, Muyiwa Adekeye, after the amended law was passed by the Kaduna State House of Assembly last week.
The state House of Assembly noted that “with the new law, anyone convicted of rape will have his organ surgically removed so that even upon completion of his jail term, he will not be able to commit the crime again.
It added that “in addition to the castration of the convicted rapist, the new law recommends 21 years imprisonment for the rape of an adult and life imprisonment for the rape of a minor.”
While signing the law, governor El-Rufai noted that in addition, such convicts will be listed in the sex offenders register to be published by the Attorney-General of the state.
He stated that these drastic penalties are required to help further protect children from such serious crimes.
See details of the amended Penal Code below.
The Kaduna State Penal Code (amendment) law 2020 amends the penal code law (no.5) of Kaduna State, 2017 by substituting section 258 as follows:
1. Whoever commits rape of a child below the age of fourteen (14) years shall on conviction, be punished with surgical castration and death.
2. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a male child below the age of fourteen years shall be punished with surgical castration and death.
3. Where a female adult is convicted for the offence of rape of a child, the court shall punish the accused with bilateral salpingectomy and death.
4. Where the victim is above fourteen years, the court shall on conviction sentence the accused with a punishment of surgical castration and life imprisonment.
5. Where the convict is a child, the court shall order as appropriate under the children and young person law cap 26 laws of Kaduna State 1991.
6. Where the victim is a child, the court shall in addition to the conviction, order that the convict be listed in the sex offenders register to be published by the Attorney General.
7. Where the court is trying the offence of rape involving a child below the age of fourteen years, corroboration of a medical report shall be necessary.
Liberian President George Weah has declared rape a national emergency and has ordered new measures to tackle the problem after a recent spike of cases in the poor West African state.
The moves comes after thousands of Liberians protested rising incidents of rape in the capital Monrovia last month, in a bid to draw attention to the country’s alarming rate of sexual assault.
Late on Friday, Weah said he would install a special prosecutor for rape in Liberia, as well as set up a national sex offender registry, a statement from his office said.
The government will also establish a so-called “national security task force” on sexual- and gender-based violence.
The high rates of rape in impoverished Liberia, forced to contend both with war and the Ebola virus in recent years, has been a longstanding concern.
A UN report in 2016 recorded 803 rape cases the previous year in the country of 4.5 million, and found that only two percent of sexual violence cases led to a conviction, for example.
It was the resulting sense of impunity and the legacy of the 14-year civil war between 1989 and 2003, when rape was commonplace, that had created the current problem, it said.
Incidents of rape appear to have risen sharply this year, however.
Margaret Taylor, the director of Liberia’s Women Empowerment Network, told AFP last month that her NGO had recorded 600 cases of rape between June and August, for example.
That was up from between 80 and a hundred cases in May, she said.
Weah’s announcement of a national rape emergency follows a conference in the capital Monrovia on tackling sexual violence on Wednesday.
Addressing the meeting, the footballer-turned-president said Liberia was “witnessing what is actually an epidemic of rape within the pandemic, affecting mostly children and young girls across the country.”
Weah’s office said in the statement on Friday that further anti-rape measures will be announced.
The Kaduna State House of Assembly on Friday approved castration as punishment for anybody convicted for rape in the state.
This follows the amendment of the State Penal Code (No.5), law of 2017 which stipulates stiffer penalties for rapists in the state as part of the effort to protect women and children against any form of gender violence.
“Anyone convicted of rape will have his organ surgically removed so that even upon completion of his jail term, will not be able to commit the crime again,” the spokesman of the House, Musa Ahmed told Channels Television.
Ahmed said in addition to the castration of the convicted rapist, the new law entails 21 years imprisonment for the rape of an adult and life imprisonment for the rape of a minor.
During a public hearing on the Bill seeking the amendment of the penal code last month, the wife of the Kaduna state Governor, Ummi El-Rufai proposed either castration or death sentence for rapists, even as she described such act as a gross violation of the rights of women and children.
While she expressed concern that an average of five rape cases especially minors are recorded in Kaduna State on daily basis, the governor’s wife noted that only severe penalties for rapists in the state penal code will serve as a deterrent to others.