Paraguayan protest against raping 10-year-old girl, banning abortion


This video says about itself:

Pregnant 10-year-old ‘denied abortion after being raped by stepfather’

2 May 2015

Amnesty International is calling on Paraguay’s government to allow a 10-year-old girl to get an abortion for the sake of her health. Report by Sarah Kerr.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Paraguay march poised to draw record crowd after 10-year-old denied abortion

As authorities insist child rape victim must give birth, hundreds are expected to protest sexual abuse in Asunción: ‘Her case is emblematic’

Jonathan Watts, Latin America correspondent and Sarah Boseley, Health editor

Thursday 28 May 2015 12.00 BST

Fury over Paraguayan authorities’ refusal to allow an abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim is expected to bring unprecedented numbers of pro-choice protesters to the streets of the country’s capital, Asunción, this week.

The case has prompted outcry around the world and prompted a national debate about the prevalence of child abuse and underage pregnancies.

But that debate has focused more on adult violence than child health. And while many have called for tougher penalties for adults who abuse minors, few expect any change in the Catholic country’s strict abortion laws.

Despite a plea from the girl’s mother, Paraguayan authorities have ruled that the 10-year-old who is now 25 weeks into the pregnancy must give birth, unless she develops complications that put her life in danger. A medical panel is monitoring her condition.

Pedro Pablo Guanes, a gynaecologist based in Asunción, said the authorities are likely to release a tentative date for the birth soon. One option is for a cesarian section to be carried out in the next few weeks to avoid the biggest risk, which is that the girl’s body may not yet be developed enough to accommodate a fetus in its final stage.

On average, two girls under the age of 16 give birth each day in this country of 6.8 million, according to local media reports which have reflected fears that the rape of minors has become “normalised”.

Congressmen have proposed raising the maximum sentence for the rape of a minor to 30 years in prison, up from 10 years. But attempts to raise awareness over the issue of sexual abuse have been modest: the government has urged people to wear green ribbons on the National Day Against Child and Adolescent Sexual Abuse on 31 May.

A day earlier, hundreds of demonstrators are expected to attend a march from the Plaza Uruguaya to El Panteón in the capital with banners declaring “My body, my territory, not for use or abuse”. Similar small rallies have been staged every year, but organisers expected double the usual number of marchers this year because of the commotion caused by the 10-year-old’s pregnancy.

“Her case is emblematic and motivates many people,” said Rosana Ríos of the Grupo Luna Nueva, which is one of the participating organisations in the protest. “We are marching against the inaction of the state in the face of this problem.”

Petitions have been sent to the Ministry of Children demanding the government stop treating this problem as “normal” and asking for the establishment of a medical board to evaluate the options for the girl’s well-being. The global online campaigning organisation Avaaz presented a petition to the Paraguayan congress with half a million signatures calling for the decriminalization of abortion for women under 15 years of age.

This coincided with a public hearing in Asunción on whether to reform the nation’s abortion laws. Feminist and pro-choice groups argued that decriminalisation was long overdue because more than 50,000 illegal abortions are carried out each year for those who can afford them, while the poor have no choice but to bear the health and economic risks associated with an unwanted pregnancy.

The situation in Paraguay reflects that across Latin America, where abortion is illegal or severely restricted in most countries. Nicaragua, Chile and El Salvador ban abortion completely, even if the pregnancy threatens the life of both the mother and the foetus.

The World Health Organization has said botched abortions are a leading cause of maternal death worldwide, and in 2008 accounted for 12% of all maternal deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean.

But the strong influence of the Catholic church in the region makes reform unlikely. Earlier this week, Peru’s congress rejected a bill to decriminalise abortion in the case of rape. …

“This shows how the situation here has become normal, at least to those who work with these cases,” said Cecilia Caniza, a psychiatrist based in Asunción. “Everyone needs to understand that this is not normal. Just because there are lots of cases does not make the situation OK.”

International research suggests the potential hazards for very young mothers are considerable: even though a 10-year-old may be able to conceive, her pelvis is not fully developed, raising the likelihood of complications during birth.

“One big study in Bangladesh showed a five-fold increase in risk of death among 10- to 14-year-olds compared to women aged 20 to 24,” said Dr Mickey Chopra, Unicef’s global chief of health.

“Even if the mother doesn’t die, the physical complications of pregnancy can be quite severe, running from prolapses to being physically disabled,” said Chopra.

Young girls who become pregnant also experience higher rates of pre-eclampsia – dangerously high blood pressure – which can be life-threatening for mother and baby.

And even when rape is not an issue, adolescents can have difficulty adapting to motherhood when they are still growing up themselves, said Daghni Rajasingam, a consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK.

According to Unicef, the teen and adolescent birth rate in Paraguay is 63 per 1000 girls aged 15 to 19. In the UK, which has one of the highest rates in Europe, the rate is 25 per 1000 and in the US, which has the highest rates in the OECD, it is 39.

Religion is not the only factor. Some Catholic countries do not have high teenage pregnancy rates – in Italy it is seven per 1000 and in Ireland it is 16. “Access to abortion is obviously important, but it is also about social norms,” Chopra said.

Additional reporting by Shanna Hanbury

Sexually abused by a monk, a survivor speaks out


This video from the USA says about itself:

Zen Buddhism Sex Abuse Scandal

16 November 2013

Even Zen masters can be deviants. Inside the new book that unearths a disturbing pattern of affairs at the top of one of the largest Buddhist communities in the U.S…

Read more here.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

‘The monk patted me on my head, I was not used to that’

Today, 16:30

by Bas de Vries, NOS Net editor

He has never told the story to anyone. Even his wife does not know he has been abused by a Thai Buddhist monk in the second half of the 1970s when he was a 12-year-old in Waalwijk. “Or maybe I was even younger, I was in any case still in elementary school.” We will call him Huub, but that’s not his real name.

Huub did not like it at home. Therefore, he wandered about the streets. He became fascinated by the corner house a few hundred meters away. A temple where a large golden Buddha statue stood in the living room. Sometimes there were festivities and then the whole Talmastraat street was full of people in orange robes. Not exactly a commonplace spectacle for a little boy in Waalwijk of those years.

Bare feet

One day, one of those Thai men spoke to him. The monk was still relatively young. “At least not as old as those dirty old men you saw in the abuse cases in the Catholic Church.” The monk asked Huub if he wanted to come inside. He walked barefoot in slippers. Huub only now knows from the publicity of the past few days he was Mettavihari, the monk who – as far as is known now – in twenty years abused certainly dozens of young men and minors.

Huub was timid, but also very curious. So he went into that “strange-smelling” house. Huub got a cup of lemonade. To truly have a conversation with the five or six men there was not possible; he spoke no English. But that friendly smiling monk patted him on the head a few times. “And that did something with me. I experienced it as a form of love. I was not used to that at home. He seduced me completely.”

Fifteen minutes later he was outside again. With some brochures about Buddhism. Without pictures, just text. In this incomprehensible English.

A few times he went back. And still he got that lemonade again. Huub remembers that he thought: this house is built exactly in the same way as ours. A temple in a private house. The third or fourth time he had to go upstairs to the bedroom of the monk.

He starts crying uncontrollably when he tells what happened next. “I had to masturbate him. The expression is ‘as if transfixed to the ground’, but I was transfixed to the ground. Then I ran back down the stairs as fast as I could. Downstairs there were still the same five men.”

“I never went back. That temple a few years later moved to another street. I have very bad memories of that house. I live somewhere else now, but in my neighborhood there is a Buddhist center on a main street. If at all possible, I try not to drive along there.”

Shameful

He never told police about this. Once he went to the police in Waalwijk because of ill-treatment by his stepfather. But the abuse by the monk, he did tell them then. It was too shameful. “I just did not dare.”

“I have always kept this nasty experience to myself, but when those Catholic church affairs began to become known, then it all came back. I saw the news on the NOS [about other Buddhist clerical abuse cases] and I thought: I have been there as well!

‘British politician abused children’


This video from Britain says about itself:

Esther Baker abused by Politician/s, Judges, Police

26 May 2015

Police say they are “in the early stages” of investigating claims that a woman was sexually abused while she was a young girl, as uniformed police officers stood guard.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

VIP paedophile ring allegations: woman waives anonymity to accuse politician

Esther Baker alleges politician was in group whose influential members abused young girls in Cannock Chase in 1980s and 90s

Josh Halliday

Tuesday 26 May 2015 16.35 BST

A woman has waived her right to lifelong anonymity to allege that a well-known politician was part of a VIP paedophile ring that sexually abused children in the Staffordshire countryside in the 1980s and 90s.

Esther Baker, 32, said the politician was in a group whose influential members routinely abused young girls in Cannock Chase as uniformed police officers stood guard.

In an interview with the Guardian, Baker said she had identified several of her abusers – including the politician – to police after summoning the courage to speak out.

“I’ve spoken out because I hope witnesses will come forward,” she said. “I know what it’s like to be the first one to come out and speak about it, it’s scary but I felt almost forced to come forward to protect myself. Once it’s out there there’s no point them trying to shut me up.”

Baker’s alleged abusers are among more than 1,400 suspects – including 261 high-profile individuals – being investigated as part of an unprecedented nationwide police operation stretching back decades.

Baker, who lives in Liverpool, has given graphic and detailed testimony to detectives in interviews spanning 33 hours. A further 18 hours of evidence-giving has been planned, with detectives considering taking her back to Cannock Chase where she was abused over 20 years ago.

The 32-year-old broke her silence in an interview with Sky News on Tuesday morning. Since it aired, she has been inundated with support from fellow child abuse survivors.

Baker told the Guardian she was first abused by the politician when she was around six years old. Working with police, she has established that the abuse continued until she was at least 11.

Detectives have been told that the politician, who is still alive and of the current political era, would make her sit on his knee while she played the piano and on other occasions sexually abused her on Cannock Chase fields. He cannot be named for legal reasons.

She says she believes a lord and a judge were also involved because their titles would be mentioned while the attacks were taking place. “I was brought up in a religious household and … I thought they were on God’s authority,” she said.

“I knew they were important but I always thought they were more important in the church. That’s what I related it to at the time. But I knew there were ones that were more special than others.”

A small group of police officers, some uniformed, stood guard while the abuse was taking place, she said, and other times they would join in. One of the officers she recognised from church.

On one occasion Baker tried to flee the abuse but was chased and caught by one of the officers standing guard. He told her he was sorry, she said, but still took her back to where the attacks were taking place.

She now believes the officers could hold vital information about the abuse meted out to children in Cannock Chase.

Asked whether she had a message for other child abuse survivors and witnesses, she said: “Just that it’s time to come forward. If we all come forward then they can’t stop us now. They could back then but they can’t now if we all come forward.”

In a highly unorthodox statement, Jon Drake, assistant chief constable of Staffordshire police, underlined how seriously the force was taking Baker’s allegations when he said officers recognised “the horrific nature of what we are investigating”.

He said: “Staffordshire police is in the early stages of investigating a number of very serious allegations from the 1980s and 90s. Specially trained officers are carrying out a number of interviews with the victim to build up an understanding of what took place, and her recollections of all those involved.”

Drake said detectives were determined to thoroughly gather any evidence that would help bring offenders to justice. He added: “To be clear, regardless of role, anyone who has been involved in criminal offences will be investigated to provide justice for the victim.

Child abuse is a terrible crime, whenever it occurs. We are keen to hear from anyone who knows more about the allegations, or any other victim of child sexual abuse, and they can contact the police through 101, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

“In this specific case the victim has made the decision to waive her right to anonymity. Staffordshire police wants to reassure anyone who has been a victim of any form of child or sexual abuse that their anonymity will be protected.”

Baker is receiving ongoing support from Merseyside-based group the Lantern Project, which offers counselling and advocacy to survivors of child sexual abuse.

Police last week revealed the enormous scale of alleged child abuse they are investigating. Ch Const Simon Bailey said 1,433 men – including 76 politicians, 43 music stars and 135 TV, film or radio entertainers – have been identified by abuse survivors.

Gabrielle Shaw, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, lauded Baker’s bravery and said her decision to speak out would help others come forward.

“For everyone that does speak out it chips away at the wall of untouchability that victims feel their abusers have,” she said. “There has been a stark sea change in attitudes to survivors who have come forward since 2013, in the post-Savile era.

“Ten or 15 years ago the response would have been very different – she wouldn’t have been believed – but Staffordshire police have taken it very seriously.”

Buddhist clerical sexual abuse in the Netherlands


This video from Thailand, with English subtitles, says about itself:

2 March 2014

Protection of Children’s Rights Foundation (Thailand) produced this video to campaign for laws against possessing child sexual abuse material and raising awareness of foreigners arrested in Thailand for child sex abuse jumping bail.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Sexual abuse among Buddhists in Netherlands

Today, 15:56

By NOS-Net editor Bas de Vries

Buddhist monks and teachers in the Netherlands have been guilty in recent decades of sexual abuse of students, both men and women. In some cases the victims were minors. There are abuse scandals in, eg, Waalwijk, Middelburg and Makkinga (Friesland province).

People have been silent about the abuse for decades in some cases. But after the scandals in the Catholic Church now victims of abuse by Buddhist leaders are telling their stories.

Thai monk

In recent months, the NOS spoke together with Buddhism scholar Rob Hogendoorn, among others with three victims of a Thai monk who after his arrival in the Netherlands in the 1970s for at least twenty years abused young men or attempted to do so.

This Mettavihari, according to those involved, in the early 1980s had to leave his temple in Waalwijk. The reason is said to have been a message to the police about the molestation of a minor.

Earlier this month a number of Mettavihari’s former followers decided, after a silence of decades, to speak out about “repeated inappropriate behavior”. Their statement shows that they have already known this for decades. The reason to speak out now, according to them, is that their recent own research showed that the abuse was worse than they thought until now.

Scandals

This affair of Mettavihari, deceased in 2007, does not stand alone. The NOS also investigated two other major scandals involving teachers abusing their dominant position with respect to often very vulnerable students. In both cases, the people involved went to the police, but ultimately did not lodge official complaints. Those issues were in various places.

– A Buddhist center in Middelburg, where ‘Kelsang Chöpel’ (the Austrian Gerhard Mattioli) was guilty in the period 2001-2008 of harassment and sexual abuse of female students. In minutes of the Buddhist Union of the Netherlands (BUN) the former president spoke of “a self-proclaimed lama (teacher) who in a horrible way has wreaked havoc.” The BUN sent several people to speak with the victims and gave no further publicity to the scandal.

– A monastery in the Frisian Makkinga. End of 2001, ‘Dhammawiranatha’ (then again Pierre Krul from Den Haag) resigned as a monk after he was confronted with the many sexual relationships he had entered with women. Also in this case the people involved appealed to the BUN. A board member noted: “The stories were truly staggering: brainwashing, instigation, ruining financially, sexual relationships with (usually mentally dependent) women, but also with very young, underage girls.” This issue is the only one which made it to the press. The website of his organization gives the impression that Krul in any case last year was still active as a teacher.

Also very recently, there were cases of abuse in Buddhist circles. The Buddhist teacher Frank Uyttebroeck reports that since 2010 at least five other people who were abused by five different teachers, have sought help from him. Two of them were so traumatized that he referred them to the medical community. He does not mention the names of these teachers, in his own words because he had pledged that to the victims.

Culture of silence

The victims who are willing to come out think the time is now to end the culture of silence, as has happened in the Catholic Church. They cite the example of the United States, where hundreds of Zen teachers last January published an open letter in which they offered their apologies for their “collective failure” in the fight against abuse.

Professor of practical theology Ruard Ganzevoort, specializing in religion and trauma, is not surprised that now among the Buddhists this problem is surfacing. “You can see in every religious tradition that if you bring vulnerable people in contact with people reputed to have much authority, with too little oversight, abuse will occur.”

Codes of conduct

Most Buddhist organizations in the Netherlands are now beginning to think about measures to stop sexual abuse in their own circles and to help victims better. After questions by the NOS about this the executive of the Buddhist Union in the Netherlands recently sent an appeal to the more than forty affiliated centers.

In it, the BUN, the contact point of the Dutch government for the 50,000 to 65,000 Buddhists in the Netherlands, poins out the importance of precautions. “For example, through confidants, codes of conduct or otherwise.” The administration warns individual Buddhists “to orientate well and think” before they join a particular organization or teacher.

“I want to particularly say this to make it clear that you should act immediately if something is wrong,” said Patrick Franssen, who was abused in the 1970s from his 19th year in his own words forty to fifty times by Mettavihari. “You have to stop it early, otherwise even worse things will happen. And do not be afraid of negative publicity. Buddhism can take criticism, it is much larger than these issues.”

The Dalai Lama and sexual abuse among Buddhists: here.

French military sexual abuse of African children


This 30 April 2015 video is called France investigates allegation of child abuse by its troops in the Central African Republic.

By Antoine Lerougetel and Kumaran Ira in France:

French soldiers sexually abused children in Central African Republic

6 May 2015

On April 29, Britain’s Guardian newspaper revealed the sexual abuse of children aged between 8 and 15 by French soldiers in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). The deeply impoverished country has experienced escalating sectarian fighting between Christian Anti-balaka and Muslims Seleka militias. Thousands of civilians had fled Bangui neighborhoods to seek shelter in nearby M’Poko airport.

According to the Guardian, the alleged abuse took place between December 2013 and June 2014 in a refugee camp in Bangui.

Reuters cited French judicial sources saying that a number of French soldiers had been identified. Chadian peacekeepers were also allegedly involved in the sexual abuse. On Thursday, Le Monde reported that more than 14 soldiers are under investigation.

The Guardian revelation was based on a leaked report by a senior UN aid worker, Anders Kompass, who disclosed the abuse allegation to French prosecutors last July, after the UN failed to take action to stop the abuse. Kompass is under investigation for breaching confidential information and was suspended after leaking the report.

According to many witnesses, young boys accused French soldiers of having raped and abused them “in exchange for food” or money. The incidents took place before and after the establishment of the UN-led peacekeeping mission in CAR.

The leaked report contains interviews with six children, who were sexually abused by French soldiers. Some indicated that several of their friends were also sexually assaulted. According to the Guardian, “The interviews were carried out by an official from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights justice section and a member of Unicef between May and June last year.”

One interview describes how two nine-year-old children were sexually assaulted together by two French soldiers who demanded oral sex in exchange for food.

The Guardian continues, “Another nine-year-old child describes how he went to ask for food from the French military at the IDP camp at M’Poko airport. He says the soldier told him to carry out a sex act on him first … He [the child] had friends who had done it already, he knew what he had to do. Once done the military gave a military food portion and some food. X said the military had forbidden him to tell anything about him to anybody, and that if he would do so he would beat him.”

The sexual abuse committed by French soldiers exposes the utterly fraudulent character of the “humanitarian” pretensions of French imperialism’s intervention in CAR, a former French colony.

Paris launched its military intervention in CAR in December 2013 under the guise of halting sectarian violence between majority Christian and minority Muslims. Paris initially backed Muslim Seleka forces in an attempt to topple President François Bozizé, aiming to seize the strategically located country in the centre of the African continent, and destroying China’s growing economic influence in the country. China had made several key deals with the CAR under Bozizé, including on oil contracts and military cooperation.

Paris initially deployed 1,600 troops in the CAR and around 2,000 troops are being deployed under the peacekeeping mission, codenamed Operation Sangaris. Since Paris intervened militarily, the humanitarian crisis has deepened and sectarian conflict has escalated.

Although the report on the sexual abuse emerged last July, the PS government kept total silence on the matter and avoided taking any legal action. Since the Guardian ’s revelation, the government has made hypocritical comments, and is seeking to whitewash the case.

When informed on the affair last July, in an interview to Le Journal du Dimanche on May 3, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed to have felt “disgust and a form of betrayal of the mission that was given to Operation Sangaris,” adding: “I immediately transmitted the report to the judiciary. It was our wish that the full truth rapidly come to light in this affair.”

After the report was passed to the French prosecutor, an internal army investigation into the matter reportedly was carried out, ending in August.

Le Drian claimed that the investigation has been “made available to the justice system.” With the case still in its preliminary stages after it was opened nine months ago, Le Drian downplayed it, saying, “I believe it is a complex inquiry. Since the crimes allegedly took place, most of the soldiers involved have left this theater of operations, but this should not prevent the judiciary from rapidly doing its work.”

In a cynical attempt to give a positive, “humanitarian” face to more imperialist crimes, President François Hollande said, “If some soldiers have behaved badly, I will show no mercy … You know the trust I have in our army, [and] the role the French military play in the world.”

French neo-colonial military abuse of African children


This video says about itself:

France, US want to keep Africa under colonial rule

10 April 2013

France has started pulling its troops from Mali – the first step in handing over operations to a UN-approved African force. The French anticipated a short campaign against Islamist insurgents in January – but now plan on keeping one thousand troops by the end of the year. Investigative journalist Michel Collon thinks Africa’s instability is the perfect excuse for the west to intervene and exploit the continent’s untouched resources.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

UN aid worker suspended for leaking report on child abuse by French troops

Anders Kompass said to have passed confidential document to French authorities because of UN’s failure to stop abuse of children in Central African Republic

Sandra Laville

Wednesday 29 April 2015 11.02 BST

A senior United Nations aid worker has been suspended for disclosing to prosecutors an internal report on the sexual abuse of children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic.

Sources close to the case said Anders Kompass passed the document to the French authorities because of the UN’s failure to take action to stop the abuse. The report documented the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine by French troops stationed in the country as part of international peacekeeping efforts.

Kompass, who is based in Geneva, was suspended from his post as director of field operations last week and accused of leaking a confidential UN report and breaching protocols. He is under investigation by the UN office for internal oversight service (OIOS) amid warnings from a senior official that access to his case must be “severely restricted”. He faces dismissal.

The treatment of the aid worker, who has been involved in humanitarian work for more than 30 years, has taken place with the knowledge of senior UN officials, including Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, and Susana Malcorra, chef de cabinet in the UN, according to documents relating to the case.

The abuses took place in 2014 when the UN mission in the country, Minusca, was in the process of being set up.

The Guardian has been passed the internal report on the sexual exploitation by Paula Donovan, co-director of the advocacy group Aids Free World, who is demanding an independent commission inquiry into the UN’s handling of sexual abuse by peacekeepers.

It was commissioned by the UN office of the high commissioner for human rights after reports on the ground that children, who are among the tens of thousands displaced by the fighting, were being sexually abused.

Entitled Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces and stamped “confidential” on every page, the report details the rape and sodomy of starving and homeless young boys by French peacekeeping troops who were supposed to be protecting them at a centre for internally displaced people in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.

Donovan said: “The regular sex abuse by peacekeeping personnel uncovered here and the United Nations’ appalling disregard for victims are stomach-turning, but the awful truth is that this isn’t uncommon. The UN’s instinctive response to sexual violence in its ranks – ignore, deny, cover up, dissemble – must be subjected to a truly independent commission of inquiry with total access, top to bottom, and full subpoena power.”

The UN has faced several scandals in the past relating to its failure to act over paedophile rings operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo and Bosnia. It has also faced allegations of sexual misconduct by its troops in Haiti, Burundi and Liberia.

The treatment of Kompass, a Swedish national, threatens to spark a major diplomatic row.

This month, the Swedish ambassador to the United Nations warned senior UN officials “it would not be a good thing if the high commissioner for human rights forced” Kompass to resign. The ambassador threatened to go public if that happened and to engage in a potentially ugly and harmful debate.

The abuses detailed in the internal report took place before and after Minusca was set up last year. Interviews with the abused children were carried out between May and June last year by a member of staff from the office for the high commissioner of human rights and a Unicef specialist. The children identified represent just a snapshot of the numbers potentially being abused.

The boys, some of whom were orphans, disclosed sexual exploitation, including rape and sodomy, between December 2013 and June 2014 by French troops at a centre for internally displaced people at M’Poko airport in Bangui.

The children described how they were sexually exploited in return for food and money. One 11-year-old boy said he was abused when he went out looking for food. A nine-year-old described being sexually abused with his friend by two French soldiers at the IDP camp when they went to a checkpoint to look for something to eat.

The child described how the soldiers forced him and his friend to carry out a sex act. The report describes how distressed the child was when disclosing the abuse and how he fled the camp in terror after the assault. Some of the children were able to give good descriptions of the soldiers involved.

In summer 2014, the report was passed to officials within the office for the high commission of human rights in Geneva. When nothing happened, Kompass sent the report to the French authorities and they visited Bangui and began an investigation.

It is understood a more senior official was made aware of Kompass’s actions and raised no objections. But last month Kompass was called in and accused of breaching UN protocols by leaking details of a confidential report, according to sources.

Kompass’s emails have been seized as part of the investigation into the alleged leak. One senior UN official has said of Kompass that “it was his duty to know and comply” with UN protocols on confidential documents.

Bea Edwards, of the Government Accountability Project, an international charity that supports whistleblowers, condemned the UN for its witch-hunt against a whistleblower who had acted to stop the abuse of children.

“We have represented many whistleblowers in the UN system over the years and in general the more serious the disclosure they make the more ferocious the retaliation,” said Edwards. ”Despite the official rhetoric, there is very little commitment at the top of the organisation to protect whistleblowers and a strong tendency to politicise every issue no matter how urgent.”

UN sources confirmed an investigation by the French was ongoing – in cooperation with the UN – into allegations of a very serious nature against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

On Wednesday a spokesman for the French justice ministry told Reuters: “A preliminary investigation has been opened by the Paris prosecutor since July 31, 2014. The investigation is ongoing,” he said, declining to give further details.

A spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed an investigation was under way into the leaking of confidential information by a staff member.

France’s poisoned legacy in the Central African Republic. Latest mission to the former colony in 2013 was to protect people displaced by sectarian conflict – now French troops are accused of engaging in child abuse: here.