UK
30/10/2013 16:54 GMT | Updated 30/10/2013 16:55 GMT

Petition For Gang-Raped Kenyan Girl Reaches Nearly 1.3 Million Signatures

A petition to demand justice for those responsible for the gang rape of 16-year-old Kenyan girl whose back was broken in the attack has been signed by nearly 1.3 million people.

Three of the six alleged assailants were caught and handed over to police and were punished only by being forced to mow a lawn before being released.

The girl - identified only as Liz - was thrown down a pit latrine after the attack earlier this month and suffered severe internal injuries as well as the damage to her spine.

kenya rape

The head of FEMNET Nebila Abdulmelik, holds a copy of the petition

Human rights groups are now demanding Kenyan authorities find those responsible and punish them accordingly.

Saida Ali, the executive director of the Coalition on Violence Against Women, told The Times: "The police need to give a public apology to all Kenyan women, because if that can happen to one woman it can happen to everyone."

The alleged rapists have gone into hiding, reports the BBC.

Liz was walking home from her grandfather’s funeral when the attack happened.

She is currently confined to a wheelchair but is expected to make a full recovery.

Human rights groups are planning a march to draw a police station in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

The petition states: "By holding these police officers to account you will send a strong message to police everywhere that rape is not a misdemeanour, it is a serious crime, and if police do not uphold the law they will be held to account.

"We call on you to ensure Liz's case is a turning point to end the war on girls."

Nebila Abdulmelik, from the rights group Femnet, highlighted the apparent discrepancies in police response times.

She said: "If a bank is robbed, the response time is three minutes.

"In this case a girl was raped and beaten and left for dead and there’s no tangible action."