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Commission denounces minivan rapes

Calls for added protection for women and for catching their attackers

The National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) has called for government action and increased police presence following a spate of attacks on women in public minivans in and around Jakarta. “Komnas Perempuan condemns in the strongest possible terms the growing number of rape cases occurring in public minivans,” the commission said in a statement published on its website today. In August, a student was robbed, raped and murdered in a van by the driver and several passengers while she was traveling home. The following month, a woman was raped and robbed by four people before being dumped on a quiet street. In December the same thing happened to a woman who was taking a minivan to go to a market to buy vegetables. The most recent case took place on January 20, when another student was gang-raped by five passengers. In its statement the commission urged women to be on their guard and called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the police to take immediate action to catch those behind the attacks, including the setting up of a 24-hour hotline. Komnas Perempuan also called on several government ministries to ensure that traumatized victims get the best care possible. It urged the ministry of transportation too come up with measures that would ensure women’s safety on public transport.

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