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Violences sexuelles et justice au Liberia

OXFORD – La fille de Martha n’avait que douze ans lorsqu’elle a été victime d’un viol collectif à Monrovia, la capitale du Liberia. La police a arrêté l’un des agresseurs, mais ne l’a pas déféré devant la justice – un dénouement, pense Maria, qui n’est pas étranger au fait qu’elle n’a pas les moyens de payer les « frais de procédure », par ailleurs illégaux, imposés par certains agents de police aux familles des victimes.

L’histoire de Martha n’a rien d’extraordinaire. En fait, la plupart des victimes de viol et de violences domestiques doivent se battre pour obtenir justice. Et avec le retrait de la mission des Nations unies au Libéria (MINUL), la situation pourrait encore s’aggraver.

Lorsque la MINUL a été créée, en 2003, le Liberia sortait à peine de quatorze années d’une terrible guerre civile, au cours de laquelle la violence physique et sexuelle contre les femmes s’étaient déchaînée. Durant les treize années qui ont suivi, la mission a joué un rôle essentiel de maintien de la paix, contribuant à la reconstruction du pays et à la réalisation d’un certain nombre d’objectifs sociaux favorisant notamment l’accès des femmes à la justice. Le soutien de la MINUL et des autres partenaires internationaux a permis au gouvernement du Liberia de mettre en place des organes judiciaires spécialisées, dont la Section de protection des femmes et des enfants, créée au sein de la Police nationale libérienne (PNL), ainsi qu’un tribunal spécial pour juger des crimes sexuels.

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