maandag, juni 22, 2015


"Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world."    

Marilyn Monroe

Minova, Democratic Republic of the Congo. February 2014. 
Between February 12th and 19th, 2014, a temporary courtroom was set up in Minova, a market town that hugs the shore of Lake Kivu in eastern Congo, in order to hear the testimonies of resident rape victims. Trials are normally held in Goma, but for the victims, such travel would have been prohibitively expensive. So, the court came to them.
On trial were 39 FARDC (Armed Forces of the DRC) soldiers, accused of participating in a 10-day run of violence in November 2012. It was estimated that more than 1,000 women, children and men were raped in this town 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 representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict dubbed the Democratic Republic of the Congo the “rape capital of the world.” The Minova trials represented an advance in bringing justice to victims of rape—an unprecedentedly large number of government soldiers were accused, and the case was being tried at such a high level of military court that there would be no possibility of appeal. 
Yet when the ruling came down on May 5th, 2014, only two of the 37 accused soldiers were convicted of rape.  One of the two convicted soldiers received a life sentence. 

Geneva — The photojournalist Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi has been chosen by unanimous vote as the winner of the humanitarian Visa d'Or award for her depiction of the trial of 39 soldiers for rape in Minova, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The award is supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and forms part of the annual Visa pour L'Image festival in Perpignan, France.

"The Minova Rape Trials" took place over eight days in a temporary court in South Kivu town. 39 soldiers accused of having participated in the rape of around 1000 Minova residents during November 2012 faced defendants who for their own security wore disguises during the trial.
This year's theme was women and war and was open to professional photojournalists. The 2015 Award will be formally presented to Ms Alhindawi in the southern French town of Perpignan on September 3 at the 27th Visa pour l'image photojournalism festival.

The members of the prize committee were Daphné Anglès, (New York Times), Armelle Canitrot, (La Croix), Magdalena Herrera (Géo), Jerôme Huffer (Paris Match), Cyril Drouhet (Le Figaro magazine), Georgios Comninos and David-Pierre Marquet (ICRC).

SOURCE International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

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