Nov 252013
 
Mahmoud-Tarawally-300x207

Mamoud Tarawa

INJUSTICE IN THE COURT SYSTEM OF SIERRA LEONE

In September, 2013, Sierra Leone courts charged the country’s Deputy Education Minister, Mamoud Tarawali, with raping a twenty-four year old university student in a private resident.   He is likely to serve a prison sentence of between 5-15 years. So the worse scenario for a straight person found guilty of rape is 15 years.

Now, what if Mamoud Tarawali had been a homosexual man and was found having sex (whether in public or private).  He would have been arrested under the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861 and he could be sentenced to LIFE IN PRSON WITH HARD LABOUR.   This 152 year old law applies to gays and lesbians having sex in public or privately.

 

According to African Young Voices   there isn’t a day that goes by without a radio station announcing another rape.  Often the victims are children.

Sierra Leone lawmakers passed new legislation in August 2012.  The sexual offences law introduced what some citizens described as “stiff minimum sentences for offenders” and also hailed the legislation “as a victory in a nation where sexual abuse is rife.”

Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Stephen Gaojia said the new bill was “a victory for Sierra Leoneans as it protects women, children and the disabled against sexual abuse”. Yet these sentences, compared to the gay sentences is hardly stiff, allthough hailed as a victory against rapists because the minimum was raised from  2 years to between 5-15 years.

“It protects school children especially the girl child from abuse by teachers, pastors, imams, traditional healers and others and prohibits forced sex in marital relationships,” the minister told a radio station. ” The bill signals a big day in the lives of Sierra Leoneans as it took parliament two years to pass it into law as it had to go through various committee stages,” said Gaojia.

http://africanyoungvoices.com/2013/07/a-national-call-to-address-alarming-increase-of-rape-in-sierra-leone/

Sierra Leone remains a very homophobic country and having a  Great Britain 152 year old law (that Britain does not have now) is ludicrous and defies basic human rights.

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