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Video circulates of girl being raped in S.Africa

When a 17-year-old girl said to have the mental capacity of a 5-year-old was reported missing four weeks ago in the sprawling South African township of Soweto, police distributed her photo and asked neighborhood residents for help.

Then a video emerged of seven men and boys raping the girl. Within a day of media alerting them to the video, police said, they found the girl Wednesday in a house across Soweto from her home. Eight men and boys were arrested on charges of kidnapping and rape.

The women's league of the governing African National Congress said the video, apparently recorded on a cell phone, was widely circulated on the Internet and via cell phones. The league said it again raises questions about South Africans' attitudes toward rape and women in a country with horrifyingly high rape statistics.

``When does it become acceptable amongst a group of peers to rape a girl and laugh about it? It just makes one sick to the stomach,'' the league said in a statement Wednesday.

The league commended a mother who saw the video clip on her child's mobile phone and ensured it came to the attention of the police, and urged other parents to monitor what their children are doing with new technology and new media.

Police spokesman Kay Makhubela said soon after learning of the video Tuesday, police, with help from people in Soweto, arrested seven men who appeared in the video. Some of the suspects identified the girl's possible location in sprawling Soweto, and police moved through that neighborhood Wednesday, announcing on loudspeakers that they planned to search every home.

The eighth suspect then surrendered and the girl was found in his home, Makhubela said. He described her as quiet and apparently traumatized, and said she was taken first to counselors and then to a hospital.

Makhubela said anyone found to have passed along the video could face criminal charges.

According to the most recent police statistics, more than 66,000 rapes and other sexual offenses were reported in South Africa in the year ending in early 2011. Experts say many rapes go unreported because the victims are ashamed or afraid, or because they believe police will not act.

The state news agency BuaNews quoted South Africa's minister for women's affairs, Lulu Xingwana, as calling the gang rape ``despicable.'' Xingwana added that with the wide distribution of the video of the attack, the victim ``is now subjected to a second assault on her dignity.'' (AP)


<한글 기사>

정신지체소녀 성폭행 후 동영상 유포

남아프리카공화국 경찰이 한 지역에서 한 달간 행방불명이었던 17세 여성이 성폭행을 당하는 동영상을 발견, 총 8명의 남성을 체포했다.

이 사건은 남아프리카공화국의 소웨토 지역에서 5살의 지능을 가진 17세 소녀가 행방이 묘연해져 경찰이 그녀의 사진을 가지고 이웃주민들의 협조를 구해 수사를 진행하던 중 7명의 성인 남자와 소년들이 이 여성을 강간하는 비디오가 인터넷에 돌아 수사에 결정적인 증거가 되었다.

총 8명의 남성이 납치와 강간죄로 체포되었으며 이 동영상은 휴대전화로 촬영∙유포된 것으로 나타났다.

아프리카 민족회의의 여성연합은 엄청난 강간율을 언급하며 남아프리카 인들의 여성과 강간에 대한 태도를 비판했다. 

여성연합은 “언제부터 친구들이 소녀를 강간하는 행위를 보고도 웃어넘기며 용인하게 된 것입니까?”라며 부모들에게 청소년들이 새로운 기술과 뉴미디어를 통해 무엇을 하는지 지켜보라고 권고했다.

경찰 대변인인 케이 마쿠벨라는 동영상에 나타난 7명의 남성을 체포하고 8번째 용의자는 자백했다고 말했다. 피해자는 정신적 외상을 입어 말을 하지 않아 먼저 상담을 받은 후 병원으로 보내졌다.

마쿠벨라는 이 동영상을 주고 받은 누구라도 형사처벌을 받을 수 있다고 말했다.

경찰의 통계에 따르면 남아프리카공화국에서는 2011년 한 해에만도 약 66.000건의 성폭행과 강간이 발생했다. 전문가들은 대다수의 강간사건은 피해자가 수치심을 느끼고 경찰이 제대로 수사를 하지 않을 것이라고 불신하여 신고되지 않았을 것이라고 말했다.