For Immediate Release
The following statement is attributable to Karen Naimer, director of PHR’s Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones:
“The Appeals Chamber judgment acquitting Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo represents a devastating setback in the pursuit of international justice for sexual violence crimes. The ruling is deeply demoralizing for the victims, and their communities, who experienced the brutal campaign of sexual violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002 and 2003. This decision, which reverses the first and only conviction for sexual violence to date at the International Criminal Court (ICC), risks sending a discouraging message to survivors in CAR and around the globe.
“In light of this decision, all those involved in supporting survivors must redouble their efforts at the international, regional and domestic levels to ensure that there is meaningful access to comprehensive justice so that such crimes do not happen with impunity.”
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Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.