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UN Condemns Plans to Castrate Rapists, Execute Paedophiles in Nigeria’s Kaduna3 minutes read

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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday condemned plans to castrate rapists and paedophiles in Nigeria and called the measures ‘draconian’.

Last month, the governor of Nigeria’s Kaduna state signed a law saying men convicted of rape would be subjected to surgical castration – with those found guilty of raping a child under the age of 14 facing the death penalty.

But Bachelet – who called on governments worldwide to redouble their efforts to prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence, improve access to justice and reparations for victims, and ensure prompt criminal investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators – described the punishments as cruel and inhuman.

“In the wake of numerous reports of horrific rapes, in various parts of the world in recent weeks, including Algeria, Bangladesh, India, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan and Tunisia, among others, people have rightly been outraged and are demanding justice for the victims and measures to prevent sexual assaults,” Bachelet said.

“I share the outrage and stand in solidarity with the survivors, and with those demanding justice. But I am concerned that there are also calls – and in some places laws already being adopted – bringing in cruel and inhuman punishments and the death penalty for perpetrators.”

Bachelet cited the legal amendment signed into law on 16 September in Kaduna State, bringing in surgical castration for male perpetrators of rape and bilateral salpingectomy (surgical removal of the fallopian tubes) for female perpetrators, followed by the death penalty, where the victim is under 14.

In Bangladesh on Tuesday, the President issued an ordinance amending the Women and Children Repression (Prevention) Act to introduce the death penalty for rape.

In Pakistan, there have been calls for public hanging and castration, and across many other countries, there have been calls for the death penalty.

“The main argument being made for the death penalty is for it to deter rape – but in fact there is no evidence that the death penalty deters crime more than other forms of punishment. Evidence shows that the certainty of punishment, rather than its severity, deters crime,” Bachelet said.

“In most countries around the world, the key problem is that victims of sexual violence do not have access to justice in the first place – whether due to stigma, fear of reprisals, entrenched gender stereotypes and power imbalances, lack of police and judicial training, laws that condone or excuse certain types of sexual violence or the lack of protection for victims.”

The death penalty or penalties like surgical castration and bilateral salpingectomy, will not resolve any of the above and myriad other barriers to accessing justice, nor will it serve a preventive role, Bachelet stressed.

“In fact, the death penalty consistently and disproportionately discriminates against the poor and most marginalized individuals, and often results in further human rights violations,” the High Commissioner said.

“Surgical castration and salpingectomy violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under international human rights law.

“I urge States to adopt a victim-centred approach to fighting the scourge of rape and other sexual violence. It is crucial that women are active participants in designing measures to prevent and address these crimes, and that law enforcement and judicial officials receive the requisite training in handling such cases,” Bachelet said.

“Tempting as it may be to impose draconian punishments on those who carry out such monstrous acts, we must not allow ourselves to commit further violations.”

Bachelet said the UN Human Rights Office and other UN human rights mechanisms have developed clear recommendations on methods to effectively combat sexual violence, with useful guidance in General Recommendation 35 of the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and General Comment 36 of the UN Human Rights Committee .

She said the Office stands ready to provide advice to States on measures to prevent sexual violence and to bring an end to impunity for such crimes.

Central Africa Sports News

Cameroon Striker Bahoken Issued Suspended Prison Sentence

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Cameroon and Angers striker Stephane Bahoken has been handed a four-month suspended prison sentence with a fine of €2,000 for acts of domestic violence against his partner. He also has a three-month suspended sentence with a fine of €6,875 for traffic violation.

The Cameroon international striker was arrested by the French police earlier this week for allegedly assaulting his spouse and also threatening her with violence.

He came out of police custody after he was charged to court where he was punished for the traffic offence he committed in the summer and the domestic violence.

Bahoken released a statement through his lawyer, Florine Talon, vowing not to make anyone talk about him beyond the football pitch.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office has chosen a measure of appearance on prior admission of guilt, an alternative option to the classic trial before a criminal court, chosen when the personality of the defendant and the relative gravity of the charges justify it,” the statement read.

“Mr. Bahoken, who is unknown to the courts, spontaneously explained himself and showed himself to be extremely cooperative with both the gendarmes and the magistrates.

“With regard to the acts with which he was accused, it emerges from the investigation that in isolation, Mr. Bahoken and his partner may both have had regrettable attitudes and words which fortunately remained at the stage of words, in the absence of blows.

“Be that as it may, Mr. Bahoken who has never wished to harm his partner, bitterly regrets these heated exchanges and wishes their separation will continue in the best interests of the child.

“In any case, Stephane Bahoken accepts his reprehensible behaviour, accepts the sentence without complacency. And does not intend to make anyone else talk about him beyond the football stadiums.”

Bahoken played for 80 minutes as Angers defeated Rennes 2-1 at the Roazhon Park in a Ligue 1 game. He now remains a doubt for their next league game at home against Nice this weekend having missed a lot of the training sessions this week due to his detention.

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Court Grants Former Bosasa COO, Angelo Agrizzi, bail

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi was denied bail in his corruption and bribery case

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Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi has been granted bail by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday.

Agrizzi was denied bail earlier on October 14 by the Specialised Commercial Crime Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. He appealed against Magistrate Phillip Venter’s ruling.

On Friday, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng averred that the court in Palm Ridge misdirected itself both in fact and law.

Agrizzi has been detained for two weeks after the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court denied him bail.

Agrizzi is facing fraud and corruption charges. He stands accused of bribing influential individuals, including Vincent Smith, the then chairperson of Parliament’s correctional services committee.

Agrizzi has been detained for two weeks after the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court denied him bail

Earlier this month, Agrizzi was moved from the Johannesburg Prison to a private hospital over breathing issues. Agrizzi was hospitalised, allegedly on ventilators after going into cardiac arrest while in custody.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate accused Agrizzi of lying in his previous bail affidavit last year.

He told the court that he and his wife’s moveable assets were valued at R2.6 million when in fact they amount to over R30 million.

On Monday, Agrizzi’s lawyers declared his doctors were finding it difficult to treat him because he is chained to a bed and there were too many armed guards in his ward.

They demanded that he be released on bail because he is at high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to his pre-existing chronic medical condition.

His lawyers argued that his denial of bail was unfair because he had so far cooperated with investigations, the state capture commission, and has no prior convictions.

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East Africa Sports News

Tusker FC Sign Former Gor Mahia Defender Ochieng

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Tusker FC sign former Gor Mahia defender Ochieng

Kenya Premier League side Tusker FC have confirmed the signing of former Gor Mahia defender Wellington Ochieng.

Tusker FC have been strengthening for the new season as they look to challenge for the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League title.

“Ochieng’ is now our player, he signed with us yesterday [Thursday],” Tusker FC chairman Daniel Aduda said.

“He is an experienced player who will give us much-needed experience at the back. Ochieng’ is also versatile and I believe he will be a valuable asset to the team.”

A couple of weeks ago Ochieng was released by his club alongside Edwin Lavatsa.

The defender is the third player signed by Tusker FC in the transfer window. They started by getting experienced centre-back Eugene Asike to extend his stay at the club by one year. Goalkeeper Robert Mboya also extended his stay at the club by another season as well.

Christopher Oruchum was the first signing for the former champions from the 13-time champions AFC Leopards.

“One of the things that motivated me to sign for Tusker is that Tusker is one of the biggest clubs in Kenya whereby we stand a chance to be exposed to big teams in Africa and outside the country,” the defender said after completing the move.

“Having joined a team that was high-flying the previous season, I hope and pray that I will also add something and also help the team to achieve more than they achieved last season.

“There was a time I was really close to signing for Tusker when I was at Thika United but the deal did not materialize then I ended up going to AFC Leopards, then from there I have the chance again of joining this great club, which I have longed to play for.”

Tusker FC last won the league trophy four years ago.

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