Women’s rights and Haitian groups are outraged over a ruling by a Quebec judge sentenced two Haitian men to house arrest for the gang rape of a young Haitian woman. Judge Monique Dubreuil sentenced Patrick Lucien and Evens Sannon to 100 hours of community service and 18 months of house arrest. Also, the assailants are not allowed to contact the victim.
Prosecutor Helene DiSalvo asked for four and five years for Lucien and Sannon, respectively. The judge commented on her controversial, mild sentence, “the absence of regret of the two accused seems to be related more to the cultural context, particularly with regard to relations to women.”
Eric Faustin, director of a Haitian religious organization in Montreal said, “She’s saying it’s normal for Haitian men to carry out group rape and not feel any remorse. I find that outrageous.” Women’s rights activist Evelyne Margron condemned the ruling, “The judge is saying that Haitian women consent to being sexually assaulted. It is as false in Haiti as elsewhere. I fear that if the victim had been a white Canadian, the judge would have been less lenient.”
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According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice.
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