Sunday, February 25, 2018
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Women's movement urge the government, in particular the upcoming VII Constitutional Government to consider altering the penal code to add a specific article that criminalises incest in Timor-Leste.

Women's movement urge the government, in particular the upcoming VII Constitutional Government to consider altering the penal code to add a specific article that criminalises incest in Timor-Leste.

The Director Organization of Women and Children's Legal Aid (AlFela) Merita Correia said they have conducted advocacy and submitted their formal appeal to the government but so far there has not been a positive answer.
They vowed to continue advocating.
She said Timor-Leste is a Catholic country and as such incest constitutes an immoral action that needs to be criminalised.
She added there has been a change in the formal justice process and that judges pass more severe sentences on incest cases involving minors but in the case of adults, judges often consider the issue of consent and they cannot do anything because the penal codes does not criminalise incest.
"We hope that the upcoming new leaders will accept our proposal to alter the penal code and add an article that criminalises incest," she hoped, because there is no logic in a daughter consenting to having a sexual relationship with her father.
She added though that in several incest cases, judges have imposed 30-year prison sentence on the accused.
Meanwhile the Member of the Timor-Leste Parliamentary Women’s Group (GMPTL), MP Josefa Alvares Pereira Soares said according to the law, incest was a crime because there was no respect and consideration anymore in the family and especially when it happens to a minor.
The MP added that this issue has become a public issue due to some decisions that do not condone incest between uncle and niece or father and daughter when there is consent.
She added that may be so in other countries but Timor-Leste does not agree with this practice.
"Because they are still closely related and part of the same family. We disagree with this and incest should be criminalised event when there is consent,” she said.
She said they despite their efforts, this issue will have to be considered by the upcoming government and the new legislature.

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