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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Suhakam: Citing consent in rape cases worrying


The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has expressed concern that the consent of the victim had been mitigating factors in two recent cases of statutory rape.

“While not denying that there have been similar sentences in the past in cases of statutory rape committed by young first offenders, the Commission is alarmed that the consent of the child victims appeared to be one of the mitigating factors in both cases,” said Suhakam chairperson Hasmy Agam.

Hasmy, in a statement today, joined the chorus of indignationagainst the verdicts of electrician Chuah Guan Jiu and national bowler Nor Afizal Azizan.

Both were spared jail sentences despite receiving convictions of statutory rape this month.

It was reported that Penang Sessions Court had noted in its rulingon Tuesday that the act between the offender Chuah and his victim had been “consensual”.

Hasmy said, “That our penal laws recognise that a child may lack the necessary maturity to give real consent or may be unduly influenced into giving apparent consent, is underscored by the legal prohibition against sexual relations with a female child under the age of 16, regardless of consent on her part.”

[More to follow]

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