In Coup-Torn Guinea, Women Raped in Public

Cell phone images harden opposition to military junta
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2009 7:30 AM CDT
Troops provide security after the arrival of Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore at the airport in Conakry, Guinea, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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(Newser) – In the west African nation of Guinea, where a military junta seized power in 2008, 50,000 people attended a political demonstration in a stadium last week, where they were attacked by soldiers who shot and killed at least 157 unarmed people, according to human rights groups, and raped at least three women in broad daylight. Cell phone images of the brutal attacks on women have circulated throughout Guinea, fueling opposition to the coup. A New York Times reporter in Guinea calls the images "ugly and hard to refute."

Soldiers ripped the women's clothes off, struck them with rifles, and took turns gang raping them, the victims told the Times in interviews. "This time, a new stage has been reached," said Guinea's former prime minister, who was himself beaten at the stadium and witnessed several rapes. "Women as battlefield targets. We could never have imagined that."