BAMAKO – Police in Mali said Thursday they had arrested eight people in connection with two gang rapes and a separate case of paedophilia, as campaigners urged the adoption of laws penalising gender-based violence.
Reports of the gang-rape of a young woman have circulated since the weekend in Mali, leading to the arrests of four young men aged between 16 and 25, the police said in a statement, in a case that has caused an outpouring of anger.
"The four rapists seen in the video recently shared on social networks, were arrested on Wednesday in Bamako," the statement said.
A second gang-rape took place in another Bamako neighbourhood and three alleged attackers were arrested on Wednesday, it added.
Finally, a 75-year-old man was arrested the same day for "paedophilia committed with a 3-year-old girl," according to the statement.
All of those arrested had admitted their role in the various crimes, police said, adding that six more people were arrested for making a pornographic video for the purposes of blackmail.
Moctar Mariko, president of the Malian Association For Human Rights, said Mali "urgently" needed gender-based violence legislation to put an end to what he termed "the recurrence of this kind of sexual violence."