The case of a Busia schoolgirl who was gang-raped last June and who has been confined to a wheelchair ever since will now be tried in court, the Kenyan public prosecutor's office said Thursday (February 6th).
Kenyan Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, in conjunction with the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) and the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW), said in a joint statement that there was sufficient evidence to support a sexual assault case.
"The medical evidence support charges of sexual violence. COVAW will arrange for a report from Liz's psycho-social support and will continue to ensure that Liz and her family receive psycho-social support as appropriate," the statement said according to Capital FM.
The 16-year-old, known by the pseudonym Liz, was reportedly beaten and raped by six men as she returned from her grandfather's funeral in western Kenya last year, before the gang dumped her, bleeding and unconscious, in a deep sewage ditch.
She suffered a broken back, caused either by the beating or from being hurled into the pit. She also ended up with serious internal injuries from the rape.
The statement also announced that the Independent Policing Oversight Authority has launched an investigation into police conduct of the case. The suspects were initially ordered to cut grass as punishment for the attack, with Police Inspector General David Kimaiyo also casting doubt on the credibility of the case.
Some 1.6 million people worldwide have signed an online petition, publicised by the online campaign group Avaaz, demanding "Justice for Liz".