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Punishment for Rape in Different Countries


Published : 12 Mar 2022 05:54 PM | Updated : 14 Mar 2022 05:06 PM

“Why, there they are both, baked in that pie;

Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,

Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.

'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point."

-Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus)

Titus, the protagonist of Shakespeare’s revenge play, beheaded his daughter’s rapists and then fed the rapists’ flesh-filled pie to their mother. He then kills his daughter to restore her honor. Four hundred-year-old killing scenes represent humans' universal actions as counterparts of rape and against rapists.

So now, what is rape? Rape is a form of sexual violation which is often described as sexual assault. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, rape is “unlawful sexual activity, and usually, sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person's will or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception.”

If we think deeply, we will find a similarity between ancient and modern actions of anti-rape. When there was no definite law, people punished criminals according to their revenge instinct. Still, as everyday people abide by rules, we punish criminals according to the state's law. Every country has laws against rape and rapists. More than ten countries worldwide recognize rape as a capital crime and punish rapists to death sentences. On the contrary, the majority of countries sentence rapists to life imprisonment.

Let's learn about the top five countries which sentence the severest punishments to the rapists. They are serially arranged based on penalties caliber.

1. China

Punishment for Rape: Death Sentence or Genital Mutilation 

China is the only country globally that considers sex with women under 14 years as rape, even if the woman is a prostitute. Any rape is regarded as a capital crime and is punishable by death. In some cases, the court of china punishes rapists genital mutilation or castration, though it eventually results in death.

But the main problem in China is a social stigma, where rape is still taboo. Victims remain silent to protect their family's honor most of the time. Otherwise, they will be outcaste by society according to Chinese Culture. However, the government is trying to change the situation.

In 2015, China had made same-sex rape illegal in their criminal code and reclassified sex with underaged women as rape. However, this law has been criticized because of the weakness of the legal system, where most of the time, rapists escape from punishment. However, in recent years several laws have been passed considering this issue.

2. Iran

Punishment for Rape: Execution in Public 

According to Amnesty International's report, Iran is placed as the second- most-executioner in the world after China. Iran has strict laws against rapists; most of the time, the penalty is a death sentence by hanging, stoning, or shot. In addition, victims have the authority to shoot rapists in front of the public. This act is approved as the symbol of justice, which shows that rape is not authorized by any means.

In Iran, rape or Zina-Be-Onf is considered adultery. There, more than 15 percent of executions are for rape cases. Sometimes rapists can free themselves from the verdict by compensating the victims. Though they still have to face the tazir penalties such as 100 lashes for their immoral act by disobeying Islamic Sariah and social order.

Sodomy rape or Lavat-Be-Onf, or same-sex rape, is also punishable by death for the rapist. This rape case investigation follows the exact requirements and procedure of regular rape under state law. The Iranian government conducts this whole case and finally results in death execution. But there is no law against state officials who commit rape in Iran.

3. Saudi Arabia

Punishment for Rape: Death Penalty, 80-1000 Lashes, Imprisonment and Fine

Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country and considers rape as a Hudud crime. According to Islamic jurisdiction, Hudud crimes have fixed punishment as the ordinances of Allah. Saudi Arabia has brutal punishments for rapists. It may range from whipping to the death execution, besides several other sentences, including five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $80,000.

If a person commits rape, he has to go through the punishment named "execution through stones,” which means the rapist will be stoned until death. This death is not easy and quick; therefore, it is considered the most horrible execution.

Saudi states do not have any written criminal codes which specifically criminalize rapists. Without evidence, a judge can decide rape as a tazir crime, which does not have stipulated punishments from Quran or Sunnah. That means the sentence is left under the judgment of the judge. In 2020, a Saudi state court executed a local married man after convicting him of raping several little boys.

4. France

Punishment for Rape: 15 to 30 Years of Prison 

France does not approve of the death penalty for any criminal act as a European country. But depending on the factors of rape and a victim's condition, a rapist can get life imprisonment between 15 to 30 years. According to French jurisdiction, any sexual penetration is a rape crime.

In 2021, the French court characterized sex with a child under 15 as rape and punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. Any simple rape crime is punishable by up to 15 years in jail. In France, rapists are sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison when their actions caused the victim’s death. If the sexual assault is committed by violation and torture, rapists get life imprisonment.

5. Grenada

Punishment for Rape: 30 Years of Imprisonment and Fine

Do you ever hear of Grenada? Most probably not. But as an unknown Caribbean country, Grenada follows the most civilized laws against rape cases. According to Grenadian legislation, rape is gender-neutral and considers that man or woman can both be the victim of rape. This country sentences 30 years of imprisonment to the rapists. However, the punishment for the rape of a spouse is a maximum of 14 years.

In Grenada, sex with a girl or a boy under 16 is unlawful. Due to financial crisis and inadequate support of society, many children become the prey of statutory rape. They are lured or forced into sexual relationships with adults most of the time. So, in recent days Grenadian government has passed laws for offenses against children; thus, sex with a child under the age of 13 is punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment.

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