Police watched as prisoners raped gay activist with sticks in Congo
July 29, 2013
A gay activist in the Congo claims he was detained by police and raped with wooden sticks by prisoners as officers looked on.
According to early reports, it started with a phone call. In early May 2013, he received an urgent ring. A man named ‘Guilin’ requested his immediate assistance, claiming to have been sexually assaulted so violently as to need hospitalization.
Saidi, the executive director of Rainbow Sunrise Mapambazuko, an LGBT activist organization, rushed to meet the caller in Bukavu, a city in the eastern province of Sud-Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Not finding anyone there, he checked himself into a nearby hotel.
At around 5am on 4 May he awoke to the pounding of police agents at his door. Following a string of accusations, he subsequently spent the next four days in a prison cell of the Bukavu Criminal Investigation Police department.
Saidi was repeatedly insulted, kicked by police, denied food, and raped with wooden sticks by cell-mates while police agents looked on. Several human rights organizations have detailed the abuse he received in his prison cell.