Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi is a Brooklyn-based photographer who was recognized as one of Lens Culture’s Top 50 Emerging Talents in 2014. She uses photography to explore the human condition across a variety of political and cultural contexts. Her photography has been published and showcased by media outlets like Al Jazeera America and Marie Claire, and international NGO’s like Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), ART WORKS projects, Save the Children USA, International Rivers, Norwegian Refugee Council, the American Bar Association, MTV Exit and IREX.
This photograph depicts the Minova trials which were held in Minova town, South Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo in February 2014. The subject of the photograph is one of approximately 1,000 identified victims of rape in Minova who suffered at the hands of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) in November of 2012 during a 10-day run of violence. This victim wore a veil to protect her identity as she testified before a military tribunal.
The Minova trials represented advancements in delivering justice in the region as an unprecedented number of FARDC were accused and tried at the level of the military court – giving no possibility of appeal. The final ruling on May 5th, 2014 found only two FARDC soldiers, out of the 37 faced with charges, guilty of rape.
The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph for its reflection on the courage it takes to stand up to perpetrators of human rights violations and as a reminder of the need for a fair and non-corrupt justice system to hold those perpetrators accountable.