A young woman shouts during the demonstration to protest against the judicial ruling of La Manada, last April 26 in Madrid
The nuns of a cloistered convent in Spain joined the protest against the sentence that exonerated of rape five Spaniards who abused a young woman, so that “there would be a voice in the Church” against this decision, explained on Saturday to the AFP .
From the convent of Hondarribia, in the Basque Country, “the whole community” of 16 nuns of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites decided to react to the sentence by divulging a text on Facebook, a spokesperson for these sisters, Sister Mariluz, explained by telephone.
“What is written is what the community thinks, we wrote it because we wanted there to be a voice in the Church to criticize the sentence,” he said.
Five men from 27 to 29 years old, who called themselves “La Manada”, were sentenced Thursday in Pamplona to nine years in prison for “sexual abuse” in a group of an 18-year-old girl during the San Fermin festivities in 2016 with a aggravating of “prevalence”.
The judges of the Audiencia de Navarra, in the north of Spain, dismissed the charge of “rape”, for which the Spanish Penal Code stipulates that there must be “intimidation” or “violence”.
The communiqué of the nuns takes up the slogan “sister, I believe you”, massively chanted by the indignant Spaniards because justice has not condemned for rape the five men who had recorded their acts and because the young victim had to justify having maintained a passive attitude towards them.
In their message, the Carmelites do not defend only victims of rape, but in general of all women who live differently from theirs.
“We live in closure, we wear a habit almost up to our ankles, we do not go out at night (more than to the Emergency Department), we do not go to parties, we do not drink alcohol and we have taken a vow of chastity”, summarizes.
“And because it is a FREE option, we will defend with all means within our reach (this is one) the right of all women to FREELY do otherwise without being judged, raped, intimidated, killed or humiliated for it,” they stress.
The prosecutor’s office of Navarra announced on Friday that the sentence will be appealed, while the Spanish government affirmed that it will study the need to reform the Penal Code.