After allegedly being gang raped by four teenage classmates about a year and a half ago, Rehtaeh Parsons was harassed relentlessly by her peers who would text her with cruel messages such as, "You're such a slut," or "Will you have sex with me?" The story went viral after one of the rapists snapped a photo of Rehtaeh being raped and sent the picture to the victim's school and community. Following a prolonged investigation that lasted for a year, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police dropped the case without filing charges because of a lack of evidence. Last Thursday, Rehtaeh committed suicide by hanging herself in her bathroom. She died on Sunday at the hospital. Consequently, the hacker group Anonymous sought justice for Rehtaeh and recently confirmed the identities of two of the rapists.
Since Rehtaeh's mother Leah was unaware of the sexual assault until several days proceeding the incident, it was too late to use a rape kit. Moreover, Leah noted in an interview with the Chronicle Herald that the authorities "didn’t even interview the boys until much, much later. To me, I’d think you’d get the boys right away, separate them."
Fortunately, Anonymous didn't give up on Rehtaeh's case. On Wednesday, Anonymous released this statement:
Operation Justice For Rehtaeh — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Anonymous engaged #OpJustice4Rehtaeh this morning in response to the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons. Justice Minister Ross Landy says that it is important for Nova Scotians to have faith in their justice system. Mr. Landy, justice is in your hands.
Anonymous has confirmed the identities of two of the four alleged rapists. We are currently confirming a third and it is only a matter of time before the fourth is identified as well.
Our demands are simple: We want the N.S. RCMP to take immediate legal action against the individuals in question. We encourage you to act fast. If we were able to locate these boys within 2 hours, it will not be long before someone else finds them.
We do not approve of vigilante justice as the media claims. That would mean we approve of violent actions against these rapists at the hands of an unruly mob. What we want is justice. And that’s your job. So do it.
The names of the rapists will be kept until it is apparent you have no intention of providing justice to Rehtaeh’s family. Please be aware that there are other groups of Anons also attempting to uncover this information and they may not to wish to wait at all. Better act fast.
Be aware that we will be organizing large demonstrations outside of your headquarters. The rapists will be held accountable for their actions. You will be held accountable for your failure to act.
That is all
On Tuesday, Nova Scotia's Justice Department announced plans to re-open and review Rehtaeh's case. [via Salon]
I suppose Anonymous could be compared to Robin Hood — however, instead of nabbing money for the poor, Anonymous accesses information to achieve justice for those failed by the law and judicial system. Although Anonymous obtains information in such a way that could be considered immoral and most likely illegal, I support their endeavors and hope that Rehtaeh's case will be resolved.
Lovelies, what are your thoughts on this case?