The Attorney-General here had decided to bring a Sexual Offences Bill in Parliament last week. It would provide for harsher terms of imprisonment, up to 60 years for those found guilty of sexual violence and rape. At the same time it was proposed to introduce penalties for false cases of rape or sexual assault, which implies, victims should be careful when reporting such cases. What would happen if they lost their case?
But that doesn’t seem to be so much the bone of contention. The bill went further in proposing to legalize sodomy with consent. This is what triggered voices around the country. Socio-cultural organizations and pressure groups rose up against what they call an attempt at religious and cultural traditions. They say it is a subtle way of recognizing “new” sexual orientation and lifestyle for which we are not prepared yet. Sex is still something like sacred and open lifestyles exist, if at all, only behind the curtains.
Rapes have been on the increase during the past years, and represent a major cause of crimes involving children, desperate women and even old persons. If people are ready to accept more severe penalties for rape crimes, they wouldn’t caution anything that would go against religious faiths. The government seems to have understood this and has withdrawn the bill.
Mauritian residing in Rodrigues, Amanoola Khayrattee (pen name Alfa King) is contributing writer and journalist to La Gazette Mag de l’océan indien and This Week News Mauritius.
Retired, former meteorological cadre, trade unionist and OSH consultant, Amanoola has written for in-house union and other journals, publications and magazines. He runs two blogs since 2007: “Alfa King Memories”, and “Le Journal d’Alfa King”. When he is not reading or writing, he is on a 10+ km daily hike in anticipation of his monthly trails.
Amanoola may be reached at [email protected].