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Published On: Tue, Jun 16th, 2020

A peep into punitive laws against rapists in countries of the world

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By Isaac Asabor

Also in the list is Russia where rapists are liable to 3 to 6 years imprisonment upon conviction. The jail term can go up to more than 10 years depending on the situation, such as if the person causes grievous harm and can be as 20 years if it’s a rare case.
It is not an exaggeration to say that it is not just the issues that pertain to politics and football that people are divided in their opinion in this part of the world. Law against rapists also divides the people particularly when how lenient or how punitive it should become an issue of debate.
However, given the unprecedented escalation of rape cases across the country in the recent times, it is expedient we peep into laws that have being enacted in other parts of the world to ascertain if they can be emulated or not.
For instance, not few people know the kind of repute India has in terms of sexual assault and its repercussions. After certain modifications however, the law has certainly changed for the better, making harsh resolutions in cases of rape. It suffices to say at this juncture that different countries around the world have exigently and unambiguously implemented diverse laws against sexual assault.
For instance, just in the same way the mortal rape of Uwaila Omozuwa, an 100- level undergraduate of the University of Benin triggered nation-wide concern and protests in some states, so also was the horrific 2012 gang rape in New Delhi, which sparked protests and legal reform across India.
To expatiate on what led to the amendment of India’s law on the crime of rape, it would be recalled in this context that on 16 December 2012 a female physiotherapy intern was beaten and gang raped in Delhi. She died from her injuries thirteen days later, despite receiving treatment in India and Singapore. The incident generated international coverage and was condemned by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, who called on the Government of India and the Government of Delhi to do everything in their power to take up radical reforms, ensure justice and reach out with robust public services to make women’s lives more safe and secure. Public protests took place in Delhi, where thousands of protesters clashed with security forces. Similar protests took place in major cities throughout the country.
In 2013, following the outrage over the rape and murder of the medical intern as mention in the foregoing aboard a moving bus in the capital Delhi, Indian government announced that death penalty would be applicable to those convicted of rape resulting in death. According to the government, the new amendments will enable a court to hand out a death penalty to someone convicted of raping a child under 12, even if it does not result in death.
In a similar vein, the French are unarguably uncompromising as the law in the country hands out 15 year sentences for rape exists. Not only that, the law can be extended to 30 or life depending on the extent of damage and brutality.
In China, the sentence for rape is death, which some might extol for their speediness in the dispensation of justice. However, execution without a proper trial is just as savage. Proof of their autocratic leadership shows in the fact that some convicted rapists who were executed were later found innocent. Castration is also used in some cases.
Still in a similar vein, the punishment for rape in Saudi Arabia is a public beheading after administering the rapist with a sedative, while another country that has punitive law against rapists is North Korea. The government has a law that sentences rapists to death by firing squad.
Ostensibly to demonstrate the fact that rape as a crime is against humanity, Afghanistan has a law against it that clarifies that convicted rapist should be shot in the head or hanged to death. Convicted rapists here are shot in the head within 4 days or hanged to death depending on the judgment handed out by the court.
Egypt is also one of the places that still follow the slightly outdated mode of death by hanging. In the case of rapists though, majority of the Egyptians seem to be satisfied with its implementation.
Added to the list is Iran where rapists are sentenced to death, sometimes by hanging but sometimes allegedly also by stoning, which no doubt is a gruesome way die.
In Israel, if someone is convicted of raping, he is liable to be sentenced to 16 years in prison. Israelis definition of rape is quite inclusive and takes into account other forms of sexual assault. The usual sentence for a convicted rapist here depends on whether the trial falls under state or federal law. In cases under federal law, the punishments can range from a few years to imprisonment for the entirety of the rapist’s life span.
Also in the list is Russia where rapists are liable to 3 to 6 years imprisonment upon conviction. The jail term can go up to more than 10 years depending on the situation, such as if the person causes grievous harm and can be as 20 years if it’s a rare case.
Norway also belongs to places across the world where severe law is put in place to restrain incidents of rape. Any kind of sexual behavior without consent falls under the category of rape in Norway, and the perpetrator can be thrown in jail for a period of 4 to 15 years depending on how heinous the crime was.
To conclude this piece, it is germane to say that the necessity to have a strong or rather punitive law against rapists in Nigeria inspired this writer to air his opinion as any of the country mentioned in this context can be emulated.
Isaac Asabor is a Public Affairs Analyst.

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