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Sierra Leone Parliament removes Controversial State of Emergency on Rape

Sierra Leone Parliament removes Controversial State of Emergency on Rape

Members of Parliament on Wednesday 19th June, this year removed the controversial State of Emergency on rape.

The controversial declaration of President Bio on the 19th February, 2019 was a reaction to undocumented increases in rape, sexual penetration and sexual abuse cases.

The Leader of Government Business Hon. Sidi Mohamed Tunis moved the motion to revoke the State of Emergency. He said ‘’The State of Emergency on rape was done as a way of curbing these occurrences and also to show to the world that this Country was very serious about fighting the menace’’. He added that the emergency declaration on rape and sexual abuses was necessary as the 2012 Sexual Offences Act did not allocate adequate penalties against perpetrators of rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Hon. Tunis said the office of the Clerk of Parliament was in possession of a revised version of the Sexual Offences Act 2012 which he said, will be brought  before the House of Parliament for consideration in subsequent sittings.

Hon. Hassan Abdul Sesay, who is the whip of the APC, said there was no need to revoke the State of Emergency.

He said the APC MPs believed still believe that the right procedure was not followed to have it passed.

He argued that section 29(3)(b) of the constitution states, in any other case at the expiration of a period of twenty one days beginning with the date of the declaration, unless it has in the meantime been approved by or superseded by a resolution of parliament supported by the votes of two-thirds of the members of parliament.

He ended that the APC MPs were in dismay when the Leader of Government Business took a certificate of approval of the State of Emergency on rape to the President.

By Amira Tatayea Bangura

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