Kavumu case: appeal opens near crimes venue
On 12 June, the appeal trial of Kavumu Case began in Bukavu (DRC). The case relates to the rape of 40 girls for fetishist purposes and had shocked international public opinion.
By the end of 2017, the first instance judgment found 11 individuals guilty of crimes against humanity. TRIAL International had actively participated in the documentation of the crimes and closely collaborated with the victims’ lawyers.
An appeal as close as possible to the crimes
The Military High Court, which will examine the case, will exceptionally take place in Bukavu, the provincial capital of South Kivu. A very positive decision for the victims, as the judges will therefore be as close as possible to the crime’s location, the evidence and their testimonies. The Court will also examine three more cases TRIAL International has been working on in South Kivu: Musenyi, Mutarule and Marocain.
“It is rare that the High Military Court sits outside of the capital Kinshasa” explains Guy Mushiata, Human Rights Coordinator for TRIAL International. “It demonstrates that hearing the victims is paramount to the authorities are determined to hear the victims. After having been silenced for so long, they deserve those exceptional measures.”
TRIAL International expects that the hearings will unfold in the full respect of all the parties’ procedural rights, and that justice will be served for the victims.