Kenya rape: Chief Justice Mutunga promises 'action'

Women protesting against sentence for rapists, Nairobi (31 October) Hundreds of women joined a protest in Nairobi on Thursday

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The Kenyan authorities have promised to take action after three men alleged to have gang-raped a 16-year-old girl were ordered to cut grass as punishment.

In all, six men are alleged to have attacked the girl before she was thrown unconscious into a latrine.

On Thursday, hundreds of people joined a protest in the capital Nairobi. More than 1.3 million people have signed an online petition demanding justice.

Kenya's chief justice said he had referred the case to a watchdog body.

'Immediate action'

The teenager, known by the pseudonym Liz, was on her way home from her grandfather's funeral in western Kenya in June when she was attacked.

She was then thrown into a pit latrine, breaking her back. She is now in a wheelchair.

Her case caused an uproar after Kenya's influential Daily Nation newspaper reported that police in the western county of Busia had asked three of the suspects she identified as her rapists to cut grass as punishment and had chosen not to prosecute them.

Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said he had "sent the matter to the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) for immediate action".

In the protest on Thursday, activists carrying placards, waving women's underwear and beating drums marched on police headquarters to hand over the petition, which called the grass-cutting "the world's worst punishment for rape".

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