The lenient punishment for six men accused of brutally raping a young Kenyan girl and leaving her for dead in a ditch has prompted more than one million people to sign a petition demanding justice.
The men reportedly beat the 16-year-old, known only by the pseudonym Liz, and raped her repeatedly as she returned from her grandfather's funeral in western Kenya in June, the Agence France-Presse reported Monday. The rapists then dumped her in a deep sewage ditch.
Liz suffered severe internal injuries from the rape and is now wheelchair-bound with a broken back.
Three of the six men were ordered to cut grass at the police station as punishment before being set free, AFP reported.
Nebila Abdulmelik, who works for a women's rights group in Kenya, started the petition on Monday.
"Letting rapists walk free after making them cut grass has to be the world's worst punishment for rape," Abdulmelik told AFP. "It's an absolute failure of the entire system and an absolutely shameful response by Kenya's police."
Liz told The Nation newspaper that she seeks justice.
"I want my attackers arrested and punished," she said.
It is not clear what happened to the other three men involved in the assault. AFP said the victim knew some of the attackers.
Kenya's police chief David Kimaiyo said in a statement that the case remains under investigation, and that "the force was awaiting instructions from the office of the director of public prosecution," AFP reported.
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