Gender-based violence, in particular rape of women by gang members, was reported increasingly frequently in impoverished neighbourhoods of the capital.
Long overdue reforms to the Criminal Code to address flaws in the criminalization of gender-based violence, including rape, were finally introduced in October by a Presidential decree. Under the amended Criminal Code rape was defined as a criminal offence – previously it was considered a moral offence – punishable by up to 10 years’ forced labour. However, the majority of rapes were not reported to the authorities for fear of reprisal or because of lack of confidence in the authorities and the justice system.
The interim government failed to combat the culture of tolerance of violence against women and to provide assistance for victims of sexual violence.