Protesters gather to support 'Zouhoura'
Protesters gathered to support 'Zouhoura'You Tube

A protester in Chad has reportedly been shot dead during a violent demonstration against the gang rape of a local schoolgirl. Hundreds of angry protesters took to the streets in Chadian capital N'Djamena on 15 February, after images of the weeping victim were posted on social media.

Protesters claimed the girl, named as Zouhoura, was kidnapped earlier in February and gang-raped by five young men from the families of senior officers.

Police used tear gas in an attempt to disperse crowds that gathered to demonstrate after the 18-year-old girl was kidnapped in front of her school on 8 February by the men who allegedly raped her and posted a video of the aftermath of the horrific attack on social media.

Protesters had gathered outside the home of the victim, marching to the court to demand justice, AFP reported.

"As we arrived not far from the court, police fired tear gas. They also used live bullets," one protester said. "Then they chased us through the city, and at the high school one of us fell, hit by a bullet."

The protester who was shot at the demonstration has been reported as being a 15-year-old boy, although this has not been confirmed and a police spokesperson denied a shooting had occurred.

Supporters of the girl have posted tributes to her bravery on Twitter and Facebook, sharing videos of themselves holding signs reading "je suis Zouhoura".

It is also believed the victim was encouraged to give an interview on Chadian TV, asking people not to protest, although it is thought she subsequently released her own video encouraging people to protest.

Her father asked people to delete any photos or footage of the incident that have been shared, Chadian media reported, quoting a Facebook comment from him as saying: "Humiliating and intolerable pictures of Zouhoura made during her confinement were circulating for days on social networks and on two calling and instant messaging applications WhatsApp and Viber.

"I invite everyone to delete those photos that are an affront to our family. I appeal to the responsibility of everyone, delete photos of Zouhoura if they have reached you."

It is unclear yet whether any of the men accused of the gang rape have been arrested, with reports from various media outlets citing the number of arrests at two, and others claiming no one has yet been arrested in connection with the crime.