Listen Up! Wave of Rapes During Military Crackdown Shakes Guinea

Women were targeted and violated during a military crackdown of a pro-democracy rally...


A disturbing story out of Guinea, where human rights officials are investigating crimes against humanity in a brutal military crackdown of a pro-democracy rally. Especially targeted were women who were sexually brutalized. From NPR

It was not the first time troops in Guinea have opened fire on civilians. What has shocked people most is that women were targeted in a wave of alleged sexual violence perpetrated by soldiers in public — in broad daylight.

On Sept. 28, security forces turned on demonstrators who had gathered in the national stadium in the capital, Conakry. The demonstrators were protesting plans by Guinea's military leader, Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara, to run in the country's presidential election in January, after he said he would not. Camara seized power in a coup in December 2008 after the death of the country's longtime dictator, Lansana Conte.

The government says 57 people died. Human-rights officials put the number of those killed, to date, at 157. The International Criminal Court is looking into the incident for possible crimes against humanity.

But it's the soldiers' brutal assaults on women that have so shaken French-speaking Guinea. The people's refrain is "C'est du jamais vu" — never before have we witnessed such acts.

A word of caution before listening: Some description and language are disturbing.