Brazilian police on Friday were investigating the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl whose attackers boasted about it by posting an online video on twitter. Online social networks erupted with outrage over the video posted on Wednesday featuring the girl naked on a bed and the apparent rapists bragging that she had been raped by more than 30 men. Police said the girl told them more than 30 men had assaulted her, but they could not yet confirm how many took part in the alleged rape, as they are still investigating.
Replete with active comments and obscene descriptions of her body, the tweets had photos and videos of the girl, who was apparently drugged, naked and struggling to regain consciousness. The tweet resulted in over 550 likes and positive responses including smiley faces and thumbs-ups. The video was widely shared and came with by a wave of dislikes comments, before the users’ accounts were suspended.
The victim, the mother of a three-year old girl, is reported to have told police that she believes she was drugged. She said she woke up in a room surrounded by the gang. The video prompted police to launch an investigation and they have already issued four arrest warrants. Among those sought is a 41-year old man who appears in the video clip and an 18-year old who posted it online. The case has renewed the debate in Brazil about the country’s deeply entrenched rape culture and the failure of police forces to tackle it seriously.
Police said the girl told them more than 30 men had assaulted her, but they could not yet confirm how many took part in the alleged rape, as they are still investigating. The girl’s boyfriend was one of the men being sought, but police said they did not know whether he was one of the attackers. Police said the men were armed, though it wasn’t clear if the weapons were used to intimidate the victim during the attack.
“There are all the indications that this rape did in fact happen, but we still have to investigate further before we can absolutely confirm it,” said Fernando Veloso, head of Rio’s civil police department, at a press conference on Friday.
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Brazil’s acting president Michel Temer and other senior figures reacted with outrage. “I condemn most forcefully the rape of the teenager in Rio de Janeiro,” he wrote on Twitter. “It is absurd that in the 21st century we should have to live with barbaric crimes such as this.” The authorities are working “to find those responsible and rigorously punish the authors of this rape and the publishing of this criminal act on social networks,” he said.
The girl’s grandmother told Brazilian media the family had watched the video and cried. “I regretted watching it. When we heard the story we didn’t believe what was happening. It’s a great affliction. It’s a depressing situation,” she told Folha de S Paulo newspaper. The assault has provoked an online campaign against what campaigners call a culture of rape in Brazil.
The clip showed girl naked on a bed and the apparent rapists bragging she had been raped by more than 30 men.
Image Source: smh.com.au