Tuesday, February 26, 2013 | Categories: Episodes
Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, Stephen Lewis
We started this segment with some rape testimonials, the kinds of stories that are all too common in Zimbabwe.
The organization AIDS-Free World estimates that during the last election in 2008, thousands of opposition supporters were raped by members of Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party. The organization says the rapes were intended "as a tool of terror and intimidation" and that the men who committed the crimes frequently wore ZANU-PF shirts and chanted its slogans. That woman's story is one of 84 testimonials gathered by AIDS-Free World.
The group has been trying to build a case of crimes against humanity against ZANU-PF. And now, in a ground-breaking and unexpected move, South African prosecutors have agreed to investigate the possibility.
Stephen Lewis is the co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World. He's also Canada's former Ambassador to the United Nations and the former UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. Stephen Lewis was in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Panel: Karima Bennoune / Joshua Rozenberg
Lauren Wolfe is the Director of Women Under Siege, a project based in New York that documents how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used in war and State oppression. Here is what she had to say about the South Africa's move to investigate allegations of mass rape in Zimbabwe:
It's really groundbreaking, actually. The idea that one country has jurisdiction to investigate mass rape is really revolutionary. I mean it really gives us all hope, and it puts the Zimbabwe government on notice that the world is watching them. It's very moving and powerful and potentially a really excellent move for women who are suffering globally from sexualized violence.
But not everyone thinks it will actually be all that helpful in delivering justice. For their thoughts on the subject, we were joined by two people.
Karima Bennoune is an international law expert who teaches at the University of California, Davis. She was in Davis, California.
And Joshua Rozenberg is a British journalist who covers legal issues. He was in London, England.
This segment was produced by The Current's Dawna Dingwall, Vanessa Greco and Pacinthe Mattar.
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Other segments from today's show: