Human Rights Watch

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Mauritania: Rape Survivors at Risk

Inadequate Investigations, Prosecutions, Remedies, Support

Wednesday 05 September 2018


(Nouakchott, September 5, 2018) – The criminalization of sexual relations outside marriage in Mauritania puts rape survivors at risk, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The law deters them from filing complaints because they could themselves face prosecution. 

The 90-page report, “‘They Told Me to Keep Quiet’: Obstacles to Justice and Remedy for Sexual Assault Survivors in Mauritania,” found that when survivors do come forward, police and judicial investigators do not respect their rights and dignity. Human Rights Watch found that investigative procedures do not ensure privacy or confidentiality, rarely offer the possibility to interact with female officials, and can turn into an investigation of the rape survivor’s moral character. Many survivors have limited access, if any, to legal aid, or medical, mental health, and social support.

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