NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) – Hundreds of Mauritanians took to the streets on Wednesday over the rape and murder of a pregnant young mother in the nation’s first demonstration echoing global anger over violence against women.
The demonstrators from 30 women’s groups gathered at government offices in Nouakchott, brandishing images of the victim and demanding “exemplary sentences against criminals responsible for this unprecedented crime in our country”.
Three suspects being held in custody are facing the death penalty if convicted over the March 28 attack in a suburb of the capital, police said.
According to the findings of the investigation, the 20-year-old victim, who already had one child, recognised one of her assailants who fled.
Nouakchott has recently been hit by an unprecedented wave of rapes and armed robberies, forcing police to step up night patrols in dangerous areas.
On February 14 women in more than 190 countries danced in a show of collective strength as part of the One Billion Rising campaign highlighting violence against women.
Organisers released a video message dedicated to Jyoti Singh, the Indian student who died in December after she was gang-raped by six men on a New Delhi bus.