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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Offenders aged above 50 to still be whipped under new law



Male offenders aged above 50 years old will not be spared the rod under the Sexual Offences Against Children 2017 Bill, which was tabled in Parliament today.
Section 25 of the bill spells out that the exemption of whipping against male offenders aged above 50, as provided under the Criminal Procedure Code, will not apply.
"Notwithstanding paragraph 289(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, where a person convicted under any offence under this act is a male, whom the court considers to be more than fifty years of age, he may still be punished with whipping," read the bill.
The bill defines a child as someone who is under the age of 18.
Previously, whipping for male offenders above 50 only applied in limited circumstances, including non-consensual sex with a girl under 16 and sex with a girl under 12, with or without consent.
The new whipping rule covers all sexual offences against children listed within the bill.
The proposed law also spells out a minimum stroke of whipping for certain sexual offences against children compared to the Penal Code which allows for judicial discretion.
For example, those producing child pornography will be punished with a minimum of six strokes of whipping on top of imprisonment, while those offering children for use in child pornography must receive at least five strokes of whipping, on top of imprisonment.
Judicial discretion on whipping is still allowed for offences related to physical and non-physical sexual assault on children.
However, if the offender was in a relationship of trust with the child, such as a teacher or guardian, then a minimum of two strokes of whipping is imposed.
The complete list of offences and punishment can be found here.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman Said, who tabled the bill in Parliament for first reading today, said it was to compliment existing laws protecting children against sexual predators.
She added that there is an indication that the bill would receive bi-partisan support.- Mkini

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