Target: President Armando Guebuza
Goal: Commend the government of Mozambique for striking down a law allowing rapists to escape prosecution
The government of Mozambique should be commended for striking down a proposed law that would have allowed rapists to escape prosecution by marrying their victims. The government announced earlier this month that Article 223 would be struck from the Criminal Code. The parliamentary Legal, Human Rights and Constitutional Affairs Commission was in charge of striking down the Article from the Criminal Code.
This action is vital to ensuring human rights for all citizens of Mozambique, but there is still more work to be done. The Criminal Code that will be voted upon still contains a provision that would prevent criminal proceedings against sex offenders unless the victim or a member of their family comes forward with an official complaint. This is worrisome as victims and their families might be discouraged from coming forward due to the shame involved or pressure from third parties.
That being said, this is a positive first step for the country in fulfilling its national and international human rights obligations. The government should be commended for this step forward so that it may do more to protect victims of sexual violence. The Mozambique government has set a positive precedent for itself and for countries with similar oppressive laws in their code of law. Sign this petition to commend Mozambique for taking the right step towards ensuring human rights for all its citizens.
Dear President Armando Guebuza,
I would like to congratulate your government on removing Article 223 from the Criminal Code of your country. As you know, Article 223 severely impacted the human rights of many citizens of your country. Striking it from the Criminal Code will allow victims of sexual abuse to find a voice and to bring those responsible to justice without having to marry them.
I ask that you continue down the same path that you are paving. To stop now would be a failure. There are still laws within your Criminal Code that are not conducive to the reporting of sexual abuse and allow victims to be intimidated into not reporting crimes against them. I ask that you continue doing the good work of improving the human rights record of your country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chatham House via Wikipedia Commons