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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

During Algeria’s internal armed conflict in the 1990s, thousands of women were raped by jihadist groups. There is virtually no English-language documentary record of these crimes—a gap this chapter seeks to fill by documenting the use of sexual violence and forced marriage by fundamentalist armed groups during the conflict. Based on interviews and accounts from Algerian journalists, the chapter records the general phrases of violence against women, the experiences of specific women, and the limited response from families, society, and the state. It explores the complexity of documenting sexual violence in places where the topic is extremely taboo, questioning whether international human rights law and its emphasis on testimony are useful or appropriate in such contexts. It closes with a critique of the politics involved in producing human rights writing and provides suggestions for broadening documentation methodology.

Keywords: Algeria, jihad, rape, forced marriage, sexual violence, human rights law, taboo

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