English | Dzongkha Thursday, August 22, 2019

Parliament discusses life for gang rape

May 23, 2011

The joint sitting of the parliament today discussed a proposed amendment on gang rape in the Penal Code of Bhutan. The proposal was submitted by a joint committee of the two houses of the parliament which was formed to discuss the disputed sections of the Penal Code of Bhutan. The committee proposed giving life imprisonment for gang rape of a child who is 12 years or below.

Many MPs strongly supported the proposal while others disagreed saying the punishment is too severe.

The Gasa MP, Damchoe Dorji, said increasing the prison term for gang rape of a child who is 12 years and below to life imprisonment could put the life of the victim at risk.

He said the rapists could murder the child because they would be imprisoned for life anyway if caught.

A committee member, Ugyen Wangdi, said the punishment was increased realizing the need to care and protect children in line with international conventions. Sangay Zam, another committee member, said increasing the sentence to life was felt necessary because rape is as heinous as murder.

There are 24 sections in the Penal Code where two houses could not come to an agreement. The amendments will be discussed further tomorrow.

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