"Releasing Rapists Undermines Fight Against Gender-based Violence"

1 year agoSat, 27 May 2023 14:41:17 GMT
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"Releasing Rapists Undermines Fight Against Gender-based Violence"

The release of rapists from prison under a recent Presidential Amnesty has been castigated by activists and legal experts who argue that the move undermines efforts to combat gender-based violence (GBV) and to protect victims.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently granted amnesty to more than 4 000 prisoners to decongest the country’s overcrowded jails.

Rapists who are over 65 years and had served two-thirds of their prison terms benefited under the amnesty.

Social commentator Pardon Taodzera told NewsDay that the release of rapists raises serious concerns about the government’s commitment to addressing GBV. Said Taodzera:

The decision to grant amnesty to rapists by Mnangagwa raises serious concerns about the government’s commitment to addressing gender-based violence.

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While prison overcrowding is undoubtedly a pressing issue, it should never come at the expense of survivors’ rights and safety.

This decision undermines the efforts of activists, organisations, and individuals who have tirelessly worked towards creating a society free from violence and discrimination.

It sends a message that the state is prioritising the convenience of the justice system over the well-being of survivors and the deterrence of future crimes.

It is crucial for the government to consider alternative measures that do not compromise the principles of justice, such as implementing comprehensive rehabilitation programs and improving the efficiency of the judicial process.

Failure to do so not only erodes public trust but also perpetuates a culture of impunity that further endangers the lives of women and girls.

Legal commentator Admire Huniuswa said granting presidential amnesty to rapists could be in violation of international human rights norms and domestic laws that guarantee protection against GBV. He said:

The amnesty to rapists raises significant legal concerns and questions the adherence to international human rights standards.

While the issue of prison overcrowding is a legitimate concern, it is crucial to prioritise the rights and safety of survivors and ensure that justice is served.

Granting amnesty to rapists undermines the principle of accountability and sends a detrimental message to both survivors and potential offenders.

It is essential to explore alternative solutions, such as improving the efficiency of the justice system, implementing restorative justice programmes, and providing comprehensive support to survivors.

Moreover, this decision may be in violation of domestic laws and international human rights instruments that guarantee protection against gender-based violence.

It is imperative for legal experts and human rights organisations to challenge the constitutionality of this amnesty and advocate for a justice system that upholds the rights and safety of all individuals, particularly survivors of sexual violence.

Opposition CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere on Wednesday said it was “grossly irrational to release dangerous, unrehabilitated offenders back into society” before informing or preparing rape victims.

More: Pindula News 



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