Training Manual on Human Rights Monitoring - Appendix I to Chapter VI: "Case Study"


This afternoon, whilst visiting a neighbourhood in a town near your office, a young man approaches and asks if he can speak privately with you. You agree to meet him in a few minutes in a more secure location. The young man asks for your help and advises you of the following incident, which has reportedly occurred in his home village a few kilometres away.

The young man states that this morning his sister returned home after being missing for five days. He indicates that five days ago in the late afternoon his sister, Xena, who is of Misa ethnic origin, had been abducted and raped by five men from another ethnic group. She knows the name of one of the five men and believes that all come from a village two kilometres further away. He states that his sister had been found by a friend a few minutes after the rape and had been promptly taken by the friend to the village police station. The sister complained to the police officer on duty about being raped by the five men and identified them as being of a particular village and of Lara ethnic origin. The police officer responded by calling the sister a "Misa slut and whore". He said she was "making up the complaint to cause trouble in the community". The police officer called several other men in uniform from the next room of the police station, who asked her questions, but who berated her for "causing trouble". She was taken to a room in the station where one of the officers asked her to take off her clothes so that he could look for evidence. After she took off her clothes, he said he could see no bruises. He told her that she would be kept at the police station while the police investigated. She asked to see a doctor, but no medical assistance was given. At the end of three days she was released. The police indicated they believed she was lying. She was warned to leave the area and that further complaints would result in trouble for her family. The police took her to her friend's house, but they warned the friend not to get involved. The sister stayed two days with the friend and then came home to say what had happened.


In working groups, discuss the scenario and identify potential human rights issues and violations that may have occurred. Are those violations in the mandate of the field operation?

Participants may consult Chapter III. D "Right to Personal Integrity", III. F. 4 "Law enforcement officials" III. F. 11 "Women's human rights in the legal system", III. F. 12 "Protection and redress for victims of crime and abuses of power", III. K "Women's Human Rights". The Government has ratified all relevant treaties without reservations.

Appoint one spokesperson for each working group to indicate the potential human rights issues, violations, and mandate concerns identified by the group. Members of each working group should be prepared to support any points of discussion by reference to the specific provisions of the mandate and human rights instruments.


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