Sentencing rapists to dying, as Bangladesh did Thursday, shouldn’t be an applicable punishment even for such a heinous crime, the UN rights chief mentioned.
“Tempting as it may be to impose draconian punishments on those who carry out such monstrous acts, we must not allow ourselves to commit further violations,” Michelle Bachelet mentioned in a press release.
Her remark got here after a Bangladesh court docket sentenced 5 males to dying Thursday for the 2012 gang-rape of a 15-year-old lady.
It marked the primary conviction because the authorities of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this week launched the dying penalty for rape.
Gang-rape already carried the dying sentence, however rape by a single offender had beforehand been punishable solely by life imprisonment.
Bachelet cited the regulation change in Bangladesh, but in addition calls in plenty of different nations to impose the dying penalty for rape.
She highlighted calls in Pakistan for public hanging and castration of rapists, and a regulation launched within the northwestern Nigerian state of Kaduna final month imposing surgical castration adopted by execution in rape instances the place the sufferer is underneath 14.
“The main argument being made for the death penalty is for it to deter rape – but in fact there is no evidence that the death penalty deters crime more than other forms of punishment,” Bachelet mentioned.
“Evidence shows that the certainty of punishment, rather than its severity, deters crime.”
She confused that in most nations, “the key problem is that victims of sexual violence do not have access to justice in the first place.”
This was attributable to a variety of things, together with “stigma, fear of reprisals, entrenched gender stereotypes and power imbalances,” she mentioned, stressing that handing the dying penalty to perpetrators wouldn’t take away these obstacles.
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