Outrage is spreading in the African country of Nigeria after a gang-rape of a woman by five men has been posted onto the internet.
The Nigerian National Assembly has asked police to investigate rape, which reportedly took place on August 16 in a dormitory room in Abia State University in the southeastern part of the country.
The 10-minute footage reportedly shows the five young men laughing and joking as they take turns abusing the woman. At one point, the victim begs for mercy and even asks her attackers to kill her.
The video (which was reportedly filmed by the attackers themselves) clearly shows the face of the woman but obscures images of the men.
Linda Ikeji, a blogger in the capital Lagos, wrote about the incident and helped to generate national interest. She said the rape video was uploaded online just last week and circulated later through students phones on the Abia campus. The video later went viral.
More outrage followed when senior official in Abia, including the state governor, the vice-chancellor of the university and the local chief of police, all claimed they conducted an investigation and determined no such rape even took place. Further, they have closed the case since no alleged victim has stepped forward.
One Twitter used offered a reward of 200,000 naira ($1,250) for information that could lead to the arrest of the culprits.
Local women’s rights groups are also in a fury.
The Abia state government were too quick to try and disassociate [themselves] from it, Josephine Effah-Chukwuma from women's rights group Project Alert said in a statement.
The faces of the men were covered, so how could the vice-chancellor of the university say within 36 hours that it 'didn't happen on my campus' and 'they are not my students'.
Ikeji’s blog suggests that the rapists can be found since they mentioned names during the assault.
“She [the victim] starts mentioning names, saying ‘What did I ever do to you’, [they spoke in English and Igbo language] she mentioned at least two names,” Ikeji wrote.
“And in between, you will hear her scream out in pain as one guy stands up and another penetrates her...and all the while, these boys are laughing… They [the rapists] talk a lot and one of them said he’s a 4th year law student, another one said he’s an IT student...names were mentioned...these boys can be fished out.”
Effah-Chukwuma also stated that: We are trying to find out where this young girl is and get to her and isolate her as soon as possible to protect her. Because I can tell you that even with her family she's being blamed, they're asking her: 'What did you do to get raped?'
The national government said it will get involved in the case.
Minister for Youth Development Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi condemned the five men and said he will go on a fact-finding mission to Abia state next week.