- Two suspects detained in Brazilian gang rape case
- Anger at video of alleged assault
- Security concerns ahead of Summer Olympics
Police in Brazil have arrested two suspects in a rape case which has shocked the country.
The two men – one said to be the alleged victim’s former boyfriend – are said to have participated in the gang rape of a teenage girl earlier this month.
The alleged incident only came to light after a video of it was posted to Twitter. The 16-year-old claims she was assaulted by 30 men but delayed in reporting it to police.
The investigating officer, Cristiane Bento, said she is certain the girl was raped.
“What I want to prove now is the extent of this rape, who committed this rape? If it was five, 10 or 30 (men). This is what these preventive arrest warrants seek to do, to verify how many people committed this crime.”
The case has sparked a debate over sexism and violence in Brazil. The video was widely shared across social media, prompting outrage and igniting protests in several cities.
In the capital Brasilia, women painted their hands red to symbolise the blood spilled by Brazilian women who are victims of violence.
Some people however, have focused their blame on the girl, with the police noting that “she is being victimised by people judging her because she may have dressed in a certain way.”
The girl at the center of the case is now under state protection and she and her family intend to leave Rio de Janeiro where the alleged attack took place.
Brazil’s Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes, visiting Rio for a meeting about Olympic security, said he would put the girl and her family in the federal government’s witness protection programme, should they want it.
The case has also raised security concerns ahead of Rio hosting the Summer Olympics in August. Crime has fallen in recent years in the city, though there has been a recent increase in homicides.