Somaliland introduces law to criminalise rape

The lower house of Somaliland’s parliament has cleared a bill to criminalise rape, and other forms of sexual assault, including gang rape. The bill also seeks to criminalise trafficking, child marriage, and knowingly putting another person at risk of contracting an HIV infection. The offence of rape carries a maximum punishment of imprisonment for twenty-two years. If passed, Somaliland will for the first time, have a robust law against sexual assault. Somalia, the state from which the self proclaimed republic of Somaliland broke away, does not criminalise rape, and the practice of marrying the victim to her rapist is considered to be a widespread one across the two countries.

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