Min­is­ter for so­cial wel­fare wants harsher penal­ties for rape

The Myanmar Times - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Zar Zar Soe

IF So­cial Wel­fare, Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment Min­is­ter U Win Myat Aye gets his way, any­one who is con­victed of rap­ing a mi­nor could face life in prison, up from the cur­rent max­i­mum sen­tence of 20 years, he an­nounced yes­ter­day.

The min­istry has made a ver­bal re­quest for ad­vice from the Union At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice as to how to im­ple­ment this new penalty, he told re­porters af­ter an Amyotha Hlut­taw meet­ing.

“We ver­bally re­quested that the Union At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice in­crease the max­i­mum penalty,” he said. “We ex­pect a re­ply will come a few days later. Pre­cise de­tails will be avail­able when the new ver­sion of the 1993 Child Law comes out.”

The orig­i­nal Child Law did not men­tion the rape of mi­nors. The min­istry has asked for spe­cific penal­ties in the most re­cent ver­sion, which is nearly com­plete. If ac­cepted, sen­tences would range from a 10-year min­i­mum to a life sen­tence.

“The death penalty, which is be­ing adopted in some coun­tries, is some­thing ev­ery­one should dis­cuss,” said the Union min­is­ter.

The pro­posal comes just days af­ter a photo cam­paign, held over the week­end in Man­dalay, called for stricter pun­ish­ment of child rapists.

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