(Scroll down for video) A man of Malawi, was arrested on a charge of sexual assault after being accused of having sex with multiple underage girl despite being HIV positive.
Now, 45-year-old Eric Aniva of Nsanje, has been sentenced to two years of hard labor after being convicted of multiple counts of harmful cultural practice.
Many human rights organizations have condemned the light sentence.
Anber Raz, who is the deputy director of Donor Direct Action, an international women's rights organization, said that it is a miracle that Aniva was even convicted.
Raz revealed that the light sentence is due to lack of witnesses willing to testify against Aniva. Prosecutors were willing to charge Aniva with sexual assault against the girls, but none of the victims were willing to testify.
Instead, Aniva was tried and convicted of a lesser crime, harmful cultural practice, for having sex with widows.
As we reported earlier, Aniva said that the young girls complimented him over his sexual performance and that they loved it.
Aniva said that it is part of the tradition for girls to have sex with a male prostitute who is known as a “hyena.” He claims that so far, he has slept with about 104 girls and young women since the beginning of his “career.”
“These girls are never scared. In fact, they are very relaxed with me,” he bragged. He said that the girls pay to have sex with him once they reach puberty.
The girls have sex with the hyena over a three-day period after their first menstruation. The act is not seen by village elders as rape, but rather as a form of ritual “cleansing.”
However, Aniva, who is HIV positive, agreed that the practice has the potential of being the opposite of cleansing, and is a way of spreading the disease.
When asked why he does not wear a condom, Aniva said that it is against their religion to use protection.