Nine Chinese public interest organizations submitted a joint letter on August 5, asking for the inclusion of male rape to the draft ninth amendment of the Criminal Law.
The letter, jointly signed by a total of 1,149 people and nine officially approved public interest organizations, was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislative body, through the online opinion-soliciting channel, according to ycwb.com, a Guangzhou based news portal on August 7.
The letter proposed that the definition of victims of rape should be broadened to include all possible victims.
Li Ying, the writer of the letter and director of the Beijing Yuanzhong Gender Development Center, said although the definition of victims of molestation has already been expanded in the latest draft amendment to the Criminal Law, it was "a great pity" that the same changes have not been made to the crime of rape.
"Everyone should be equal and should be protected from rape," Hong Daode, a law professor from the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times.
"Internationally speaking, male rape is included in the sexual offences legislation in many countries, and China should also keep up with that trend, in particular, underage boys should have the same legal protection as girls when it comes to sexual offences," he added.
In China, the rapists of boys are usually charged with child molestation, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.
The letter also opposed the abolishment of the death penalty for arranging or forcing another person to engage in prostitution and suggested that the crime of "engaging in underage prostitution," which often result in lighter punishment than rape charges, be abolished.
On August 4, a man was arrested for raping a 53-year-old man in Jiuzhou, Jiangxi Province, the local news portal jxcn.cn reported.
(Source: Global Times)
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