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International Criminal Court: Bemba verdict a historic step forward for victims of sexual violence

"Today's unanimous guilty verdict by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Jean-Pierre Bemba is an historic moment in the battle for justice and accountability for victims of sexual violence in the Central African Republic and around the world," said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

"Not only is it the first time that the ICC has convicted someone for rape as a war crime but it is also the first ICCconviction based on command responsibility."

"The judgment sends a clear message that impunity for sexual violence as a tool of war will not be tolerated. It also makes clear that military commanders and political superiors must take all necessary steps toprevent their subordinates from committing such heinous acts and will be held accountable if they fail to do so."

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Amnesty International.
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