Friday, August 5, 2016

Statutory Rape and Marriage of Convenience

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Twenty-eight-year old Ahmad Syukri Yusuf having raped a 14-year-old girl, avoided prison after he married her in a case that has sparked anger from rights groups and calls for a ban on child marriage and justice for victims of sexual violence.
 
He was charged with two counts of statutory rape.
 
According to a Borneo Post Online report dated November 04, 2015, he was alleged to have raped a 14-year-old girl at a village in Petra Jaya in Kuching, Sarawak – firstly sometime in the middle of October and the second occasion on October 16 last year.
 
Under Section 376(1) of the Penal Code, anyone convicted of statutory rape (sexual intercourse with individuals aged 15 and below, regardless of consent) faces a maximum of 30 years' jail and whipping.
 
Ahmad Syukri seems to have evaded conviction – inclusive of impending jail time and whipping – after marrying his underaged victim under Islamic law.
 
According to prosecutor Ahmad Fariz Abdul Hamid, the court ruled that there was no need to continue court proceedings after Ahmad Syukri submitted a marriage certificate last week. The girl also withdrew her complaint.
 
While the minimum age for marriage is 18 under Malaysia's civil laws, Muslim girls under 16 are allowed to get married with consent from a Syariah court.
 
"It is very common for rapists to marry their survivors, especially when they are underage, to cover up their crime," Kuala Lumpur-based Women's Aid Organisation spokeswoman Tan Heang Lee said.
 
"There is usually a high risk in this kind of cases that these girls will be subject to a lifetime of sexual abuse. Her marriage is basically an extension to rape," she added.
 
Does this mean that to escape punishment for statutory rape, you can enter into a marriage of convenience with the girl you raped? Of course you must be a Muslim lah.
 
Another case of Malaysia Boleh!  

This is in contrast with another case where a 41-year-old restaurant manager Riduan Masmud (left) was sentenced to 12 years in jail and two strokes of the rotan for raping a tween in Inanam, Sabah between 9 AM and 10 AM on February 18, 2013 – and whom he took her as his second wife three months after the said incident. She was twelve-and-a-half years old at the time.
 
The court in passing the sentence said even though the marriage was valid, he was still guilty of rape.

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