Kenyan police accused of rape

Woman gang raped during post-election violence contracted HIV and became pregnant.

Kenyan woman
Only a fraction of the women raped during the violence are believed to have come forward










A Kenyan woman gang raped during the post-election violence in her country has accused policemen of carrying out the crime.

Beatrice, who was interviewed by Al Jazeera seven months ago over the same attack, now says she was raped at a showground by “police in uniform”. The rape left her pregnant and HIV positive.

Violence engulfed Kenya after Mwai Kibaki, the president, claimed victory in a disputed presidential poll despite widespread fraud allegations.

Beatrice has since given birth to a baby girl.

She said: “I went and got checked and when they tested me they found that I was pregnant and that I was HIV positive.

“I had been raped by people who were HIV positive. I began agonising about the pregnancy. I was wondering what to do with the baby. A friend told me not to kill the baby.”

But after Beatrice had given birth she realised whom her attackers were.

“I saw the people who did this to me – they were dressed in police uniforms,” she said.

The men had told Beatrice and her friends that they were coming to take care of them, Yvonne Ndege, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Nairobi, said.

Rape was used as a tool of violence during the ethnic conflicts that erupted nationwide in December last year, she said.

Many police officers were implicated in rapes and the election violence.

‘Rape babies’

“Nobody knows how many ‘rape babies’ were conceived during the post-election violence,” Ndege said.

In video

Kenya’s victims of
rape and violence

“Part of the problem is that many of the women who were raped are just too afraid to come forward.”

But 29 women have come forward to Dr Rose Owaga, a clinical psychologist. She found that many of them were raped by groups of three men, Ndege said.

At least 14 of the women were HIV positive before they were raped, but the rapists did not seem to care, she added.

Some of the women pleaded with their assailants, telling them that they were HIV positive.

But the women said that they were beaten and their pleas went unheeded.

The police say they are investigating the sexual crimes that were committed during the mayhem.

No charge

But they have been doing so for months and no officer has been charged despite hundreds of allegations, Ndege said.

“Many of the women told me that they had tried to go to the police with their accusations and on many occasions they found that they were unwilling to take statements.”

Ndege said that a government report released last Friday about the violence highlights such behaviour. It also recommends that a female police unit and tribunal should be set up and any people who have committed crimes be brought to justice.

Hassan Omar Hassan, vice chair of Keny’s National Commission on Human Rights, told Al Jazeera that the report says that there could be about 900 rape victims.

He said: “There is a national feeling to bring people to account and it is possible if there is political will across the grand coalition.”

He added that care and compensation could be provided once victims come forward and an plan of assistance is created, including help for children who are products of rape.

Beatrice fears she will die of Aids and that there will be nobody to look after her baby.

She feels Kenya’s coalition government simply isn’t doing enough to help victims like her.

Kibaki and his opponent Raila Odinga, the current prime minister, formed a unity government after months of political deadlock.

About 1,500 people died after the presidential vote. Another 600,000 people were displaced.

Source: Al Jazeera