PROTEST: Demonstrators demand justice in Kenya (PA)
A KENYAN teenage girl who was gang-raped and left with a broken back has sparked mass protests in capital Nairobi with hundreds demanding justice for the victim.
The reaction of protesters comes after the three men accused of raping the 16-year-old were ordered by police to cut grass as a punishment.
The victim was thrown into a pit latrine after the rape and broke her back – her true identity has been kept secret to protect her, but she has become known as “Liz”.
She was attacked and repeatedly raped after attending a grandfather’s funeral in a village called Busia in the country’s western region, according to reports.
Following the brutal attack, she must now use a wheelchair.
She claims six men attacked her, but could only identify three of them – villagers took the accused to local police, but officers decided not to formally prosecute them.
The three suspected attackers were instead told to cut grass at a police station in Busia.
In response to the lenient punishment, activists and online campaigners started a petition on the Avaaz website demanding meaningful justice for the teenage victim.
Over 1.2 million people have signed the online petition set up by activist Nebila Abdulmelik.
In a statement released on Avaaz, she said: “It's incredible that more one million people have backed the campaign calling for action on the rape of Liz.
“Rather than deleting tweets, Inspector Kimaiyo has to take action in what has been a shameful response by Kenya's police.”
Abdulmelik added: “The men that raped Liz must be arrested and the police officers who let them walk free must be held to account - this case has to be the moment when the culture of violence and impunity ends.”