RAPISTS TO GO UNPUNISHED IF THEY MARRY THEIR VICTIMS




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Human Rights
activists in Mozambique have called for the expunge from the new legislation,
the colonial era law that allows rapists to go unpunished if they marry their
victims.
The
Rights group Thursday marched through the capital Maputo to press home their
demand.
The
“marriage effect” clause sees convicted rapists slapped with a
five-year suspended sentence if they marry their victims. It stipulates that the perpetrator should stay married to the victim for at least five years.


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Though it
had fallen into disuse, the clause has been retained in a new legislation
replacing the colonial Portuguese penal code of 1886, which is currently before
parliament.
But
activists are outraged, in a country where women make up 40 per cent of
parliament.
International
rights group Amnesty International has launched a campaign against the
controversial legislation. It leads similar campaigns in Algeria and Tunisia where such laws also exist.
At the
protest, a young woman dressed in a blood-spattered wedding gown led a group of
about 300 mostly female protesters as they marched to parliament.
“It
is an attack on us as women,” protester Aulzira Camacho was reported to
have disclosed told AFP.


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“Marry
the rapist? No!” read a banner carried by another protester.
The new
penal code was rushed through parliament in December, where it was approved in
a preliminary vote.
It is now
under discussion by special parliamentary groups before going back to the
assembly for a final vote.
The draft
code also terms rape in marriage as adultery rather than an offence.
Activists
in the southern African country reject the text, where 12 per cent of women
fall victim to sexual abuse, according to 2011 health statistics.
“The
penal code under discussion in parliament gravely violates the principles of
human rights,” Terezinha da Silva from the Women and Law in Southern
Africa group said earlier this week.
The
country’s Human Rights League head, Alice Mabota, was alarmed at current rape
figures.
“We
now find four or five-year old children being raped on a daily basis…either
by parents or neighbours or other people,” she told AFP Thursday.
Lawmaker
Ernesto Lapapa, the vice president of the human rights and legality commission,
told AFP that deputies canvassed diverse opinions when drawing up the
legislation, and protection of family honour came out as an important factor.


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2 Comments on "RAPISTS TO GO UNPUNISHED IF THEY MARRY THEIR VICTIMS"

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chiboy okere
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like seriously

victor ndah
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wow

wpDiscuz

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