As She Speaks on the Legal Framework on Sexual & Gender based Violence… The Administrator & Registrar General Warns Offenders

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Administrator and Registrar General (ARG), Saptieu Saccoh

By Brima Sannoh

The Administrator and Registrar General (ARG), Saptieu Saccoh has said that offenders should rethink their actions against women to avoid spending their lives in jail. She made the statement during a presentation at the Annual Radiance Girls’ Empowerment Conference held in the city of Kenema.

The ARG acknowledged the good work of President Julius Maada Bio and his able wife Fatima in fighting for women’s rights in the country. She noted that the proactive stance by the President in addressing issues affecting women and girls is timely. This, she stressed has helped to uphold the dignity of women and thanked all institutions, organizations and individuals that supported the government in putting laws in place that will protect women and girls.

Dilating on the Legal Framework of Sexual & Gender Based Violence, the legal luminary said the 2019 Sexual Offences Act, which is an amendment to the 2012 has sections that offenders should be mindful of and stressed that the maximum punishment for sexual penetration and rape is life imprisonment.  She said offenders should have a second thought about the punishment that awaits them and described those having sexual affairs with kids as evil and lack conscience.

She explained the different sentencing periods based on age or position of offenders including 5 years, 10 years, 15 years to that life imprisonment.

Lawyer Saccoh also advised religious leaders, family members and chiefs to avoid being stumbling block to sexual offences going to court, saying the fine for such action is Le 10 million or the individual serves a jail term of 1 year or both. She said the court is the only competent place to handle sexual offence matters.

She expressed concern over the action of offenders that have caused so many pains and distress to young girls in society and called on all to respect the dignity of women. She noted that because of the humiliation surrounding sexual violence, women have been calling for the worst punishment for offenders.

Being a female lawyer, Saptieu Saccoh was however careful in juxtaposing the law as against her personal emotions saying the law must be respected. She called for collective effort in the fight against sexual based violence.

The ARG praised Radiance Girls’ Empowerment for organising such a conference, which she said will help to keep people alert and be mindful of their actions.

The Organizer, of the programme, State Counsel Abigail Suwu, thanked the ARG for brilliantly explaining the Legal Framework on Sexual and Gender based Violence to the people of Kenema, saying Lawyer Saptieu Saccoh has shown concern for women and girls’ rights. She said even though this is a festive season and amist the busy schedule of the ARG, she still considered women’s issues paramount, which made her to travel to Kenema to do the presentation.
Lawyer Suwu said the programme was to complement government’s efforts in its fight against cruelty to women and girls.

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