There is no exemption for the rapist from punishment

There is no exemption for the rapist from punishment
There is no exemption for the rapist from punishment

Hassan Al-Stree

The Shura Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defense and National Security approved a draft law to annul Article 353 of the Penal Code.

The article to be abolished stipulates that “no penalty shall be imposed on a person who has committed one of the crimes stipulated in the previous articles – related to rape and assault on honor – if a valid marriage has been concluded between him and the victim. If a final judgment was issued against him before the marriage contract, its execution shall be suspended and its criminal effects shall end.”

The draft law aims to achieve the protection approved by the Fourth Geneva Convention for women, in particular, against attacks on their honor, especially against rape, and to eliminate the motives and causes of the crime of rape, as Article 353 of the Penal Code proposed to be abolished does not deal with the issue of rape and does not provide adequate protection for women from This crime.

For its part, the government indicated in its explanatory memorandum that the retention of Article 353 of the Penal Code puts those who commit the crime of kidnapping only in a worse position than those who commit the crimes of kidnapping and rape, and the suspicion of marriage corruption resulting from rape lies in the defect of the consent of the raped woman. She emphasized the consistency of the draft law with international conventions on the elimination of discrimination against women and with relevant civil society organizations that see the abolition of this article. In addition, it is inconceivable that the punishment for one of them would be waived because of his valid marriage to the victim, while the rest of the perpetrators are sentenced to punishment despite the expiration of its effect by marrying one of the perpetrators.

The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs stated that the possibility of forcing the raped woman to stop the punishment for the rapist is a case that can happen, but keeping the punishment on the rapist meets the need of society to maintain public order, and does not make the rapist a way to escape from applying the punishment on him, and not canceling the punishment has an effect In deterring those who begged themselves to commit the crime of rape, and in preventing collusion between the two parties to take rape as a means of pressure on the guardian to agree to the marriage contract.

The Council affirmed that it did not see any objection to canceling Article 353 of Decree-Law No. 15 of 1976 issuing the Penal Code.

In addition, the Foreign Affairs, Defense and National Security Committee stated that the Shura Council had previously submitted a law proposal to abolish Article 353 of the Penal Code, in the second round of the fourth legislative term, and it was drafted in the form of a draft law, which was discussed before the legislative authority in both houses, but it did not It is agreed upon by all stakeholders.

And she emphasized that the text of Article 353 contradicts the policy of criminalization and punishment, which aims to achieve the deterrent force of punishment, as the Penal Code sets penalties for all crimes of indecent assault and rape, in the second chapter of Chapter Eight of the Penal Code, but the text of Article (353) came in contradiction With this policy, by exempting the perpetrator from punishment if he marries the victim.

She pointed out that at the level of comparative legislation, this exemption was not adopted by the laws of a number of countries from the beginning, and a number of countries refused to adopt it, and on the other hand, some countries are still applying it.

The countries that did not implement it in their laws from the beginning are: the Sultanate of Oman, Yemen, Mali, Somalia, and the countries that used to apply it and changed their application are: the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Lebanese Republic, the State of Palestine, and the Republic of Iraq.

As for the countries that are still implementing it, they are: the United Arab Emirates, the State of Kuwait, the Libyan Arab Republic, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Tunisian Republic, and the Algerian Republic.

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