Two arrested in New Caledonia for rape that triggered mass protest

Two men in New Caledonia have been arrested and charged over the highly publicised rape of a woman in Canala two months ago which triggered protest marches across the territory.

The two, who are reported to be 30 years old, have also been charged with torturing and barbarism.

The victim was seriously injured and put into an artificial coma for several days in hospital in Noumea where she stayed for more than a month.

The two suspects, who have earlier convictions for violent crimes, risk life inprisonment if found guilty.

Last month, about 200 people marched in Noumea calling for better protection of women and a change in the way abused women are treated.

This week, an organisation caring for vicitims of sexual violence said there was a worrying decline in fundamental values of respect.

A study presented to the government shows that in the past year 19 percent of New Caledonia’s women were assaulted by their partners or ex-partners.

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