Swaziland: Memorandum to the Government of Swaziland on the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill

Index Number: AFR 55/003/2006

Amnesty International welcomes particular aspects of the proposed new legislation, but wishes to note several immediate concerns, namely: the Bill includes 14 proposed offences which will be punishable by the death penalty; it substantially removes judicial discretion in sentencing; it criminalises sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex; and, finally, some provisions in the Bill could unintentionally further stigmatise people living with HIV/AIDS. The emphasis, in the organization’s view, should be on supporting the rights of survivors of sexual violence to justice and to health care and treatment, rather a punitive regime to punish HIV positive suspects.

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