U.N. Diplomat Gets Away With Rape Because of Immunity

The NYPD has released a United Nations diplomat accused of raping one of his neighbors because he has diplomatic immunity. According to the authorities, the rapist was protected because he is a United Nations foreign minister covered by diplomatic immunity.



According to the U.S. State Department, The notion of diplomatic immunity has its roots in ancient Greek and Roman times, when it was awarded as special status to envoys. The U.S. adopted its legislation in 1790, giving “absolute immunity” to diplomats and their families and servants, and revised the law over the years.

46-year-old Charles Dickens Imene Oliha, a career diplomat for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in South Sudan, is the alleged rapist in this case. The woman who reported Ohila said he had opened the door for her as she entered her Washington Heights building. She added that he proceeded to follow her into her apartment and raped her twice before he left.

She reported the incident around noon on Sunday, and he was taken into custody on suspicion of rape and brought in for questioning.

However, Ohila immediately informed the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit detectives that he was a diplomat. When they learned that Oliha was working in the U.S. as a minister of foreign affairs from South Sudan, they immediately released him. According to them, he could not be charged because he had “full diplomatic immunity.”

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While he was released after a few hours, the woman who reported him was taken to Columbia University Medical Center for medical attention.

The victim, who lives in the same building as Oliha, told cops she went to walk a neighbor’s dog around noon when he approached her in the lobby. He told her he would follow her upstairs to her apartment, but she said no. However, he forced his way into her apartment as she opened the door to go inside.

She said he immediately pinned her against the wall and raped her first with protection. He then dragged her to the couch to rape her again, this time without using condoms. She added that she was in shock after this but was later convinced by her friend to call 911 to report the incident.

The married diplomat, also a father, had refused to respond to comments about this incident. A spokesperson for the Permanent Mission of South Sudan also did not respond to requests. 

Jane Manning, director of the Women’s Equal Justice project and a former sex-crimes prosecutor, gave a statement after hearing about this incident.

She said, “It’s incredibly disturbing that someone who is accused of rape cannot be held accountable no matter what the facts. I hope that the NYPD detectives will still do a full and thorough investigation to establish what the evidence shows.

Oliha is not the first person to get away with crime, thanks to the diplomatic immunity afforded to those working in the Big Apple or elsewhere in the U.S. on behalf of their home countries.

The Big Apple has recorded the most severe allegations against diplomatic residents of all states, yet the city continues to make them untouchable and protected.

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.