MP: Institutional reform, not death penalty, needed to end sexual violence against children

Amnesty International India
India: 5 December 2017 7:19 am

Responding to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly’s passing of a bill introducing the death penalty for people convicted of rape of girls aged 12 and younger, Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, Amnesty International India, said.

“The Madhya Pradesh legislature’s concern on the issue of child sexual abuse is welcome, but the solution is misplaced. There is no evidence that the death penalty is more of a deterrent than prison terms. The government should, instead, focus on ensuring the certainty of justice rather than increasing the severity of punishment.”

“The Justice Verma Committee and India’s Law Commission have both opposed the use of the death penalty for crimes involving sexual violence. The death penalty is the ultimate violation of the right to life. In India, its use has been highly arbitrary, and it has disproportionately affected socially and economically marginalized people. The President must not allow this regressive bill to become law.”

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