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Institutional reforms needed to end sexual violence

May 08, 2017

Executions will not eradicate violence against women, and authorities must not use this cruel punishment as a ‘quick-fix’ solution, says Amnesty.

New Delhi: In response to the Supreme Court’s verdict today in the 2012 Delhi bus gang-rape case, Amnesty International India’s Senior Campaigner - Women’s rights, Gopika Bashi, said:

"The horrific gang-rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi in December 2012 led to landmark reforms to sexual violence laws in India. Too often, rape cases in India don’t receive adequate attention from authorities and don’t end in convictions. The fact that this case has not gone the same way is a welcome development. But the attention that authorities have given to this case must also extend to the many other pending cases of sexual violence across India.

Amnesty International India opposes the death penalty on principle, as it is the ultimate violation of the right to life. Executions will not eradicate violence against women, and authorities must not use this cruel punishment as a ‘quick-fix’ solution. There is no evidence that the death penalty is a particular deterrent to crime. Even the Justice Verma Committee opposed imposing the death penalty in cases of violence against women.

What is needed is far-reaching procedural and institutional reform. Crimes against women are still under-reported. Authorities must fully implement other recommendations made by the Justice Verma Committee, including around police training and reform, preventive measures, and changing how reports of sexual violence are registered and investigated. These measures will take effort and time, but will be more effective in the long run in making India safer for women.”

 

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