ICC first conviction for acts of sexual violence

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Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) unanimously convicted Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo (Bemba) as a military commander for two counts of crimes against humanity including murder and rape and three counts of war crimes including murder, rape and pillaging. Bemba was convicted in his capacity as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Mouvement de libération du Congo (MLC). The crimes were committed by the MLC between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003 on the territory of the Central African Republic (CAR).

This is the first conviction before the ICC for crimes of sexual violence as well as the first conviction of an individual charged with command responsibility, under Article 28 of the Rome Statute. It is also the first case in which testimony from male victims of sexual violence was heard in support of the charge of rape.

Read the full Statement of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice.

Photo of Bemba