Brutal Rape, Murder Case Redirects Attention to Sexual Violence in Algeria

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Many Algerians saw the case as another example of the government’s failure to address the issue of sexual violence in Algeria.

Rabat – The brutal rape and murder case of 19-year-old Chaima has shocked Algeria and renewed focus on sexual violence in the country. 

Algeria remains in a state of shock at the news of the horrific crime that took place on October 2 in Thenia, near Boumerdes. 

A man lured Chaima to an abandoned gas station, according to Algerian newspaper El Watan. There, she was raped and then murdered by a man she had lodged a sexual assault complaint against three years earlier. 

Chaima had disappeared from her family home in Reghaia days earlier after going out to buy credit for her mobile phone.

The alleged perpetrator of the crime is a young man known to her family. El Watan reported that sources within the ongoing investigation said the young girl was pregnant with the child of her assailant, who brought her to the abandoned gas station under yet unknown conditions.

The location of the shocking crime was an abandoned lot of buildings, dilapidated after two decades of neglect. At the remote spot, investigators found abortion pills and a can of gasoline. Sources within the investigation told El Watan that the perpetrator likely committed his crime in an effort to cover up past sexual abuse which had left the victim pregnant.

Police found Chaima, who had been raped and then killed with a knife, at the gas station next to RN5 highway. The perpetrator then set her on fire and tried to hide her charred body at the gas station. 

El Watan reports that the perpetrator then went to the local police station and claimed the girl had committed suicide using the butane gas.

Repeat offense

The shocking violent crime has received widespread attention because of the tragic nature of the story. 

The girl had filed a complaint of sexual abuse to local police three years earlier, which had not yielded any results. Chaima’s family says they know the young man who killed her as it is likely the same man that assaulted her previously.

The news of the crime spread rapidly across Algeria. 

A video of her mother devastated by her daughter’s death went public on Sunday. Chaima’s family stated that the perpetrator previously served three years in prison on an unrelated charge. The family is now calling for a reinstatement of the death penalty for the man who committed the shocking crime.

Many Algerians saw the case as another example of the government’s failure to address the issue of sexual violence in Algeria. 

The news of the heinous crime became a viral topic, with the discussion centering on whether the death penalty should be reinstated in Algeria and whether the issue of sexual violence receives adequate attention from authorities.

The problem is widespread, Abdel-Rahman Arara, the head of the Algerian Network for the Defense of the Rights of the Child told Al Khaleej. He said in Algeria, over 9,000 cases of sexual violence happen every year, including incest, rape, and sexual abuse. Arar said that 13 cases of child kidnapping occurred in 2020 alone.

Chaima’s mother has sent a letter to President Abdelmadjid Tebboune demanding the death penalty to be applied to her daughter’s rapist and murderer. 

Sexual violence is not commonly punished with the death penalty in Algeria. The country generally reserves capital punishment for cases of murder, which also applies to Chaima’s tragic case.

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Source: moroccoworldnews.com