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Breaking : The offense of rape can be punishable with death penalty

Breaking : The offense of rape can be punishable with death penalty

In almost all the civil societes, rape is considered as one of the most heinous offenses, considering its impact on the victim as well as on the society. It not only tarnish the modesty of a women but also severely damage the reputation of a state. When it comes to rape, UAE has very strict laws regarding the same. The Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 and its amendments (UAE Penal Code) is the principal legislation governing the said offense.

Recently, the UAE government has made an amendment pertaining to the offense of rape wherein the punishment have been made more severe. Now, the accused will be subject to a life imprisonment, which can be extended to capital punishment, in case the victim is a minor or suffering from disability.

In this article, we will cover all the facets of the offense of rape as provided in the UAE Penal Code.

Definition of Rape
The offense of rape is defined under Article 354 of the UAE Penal Code. For simplicity, this aforesaid Article states that a punishment of death penalty shall be imposed if someone uses force or coercion for having sexual intercourse with a female or sodomy with a male.

For the purpose of this Article, the coercion will be presumed in the following instances-

  • If the victim of sexual harrasment is below the age of 14 years
  • If the victim is subject to insanity or dementia.

Attempt to rape
The attempt to commit rape is also a crime, which is provided under Article 355 of the UAE Penal Code. As per this Article, an attempt to commit the offense of rape shall be punishable with life imprisonment. Further, Article 356 states that a temporary punishment shall be imposed on a person whoever commits sexual molestation with the use of coercion or threat.

In what conditions death penalty can be awarded?
As seen from the above discussion relating to Article 354, capital punishment can be awarded if the offense is committed against a child (below the age of 14 years) or a person suffering from insanity or dementia. in addition to the same, Article 357 of the Penal Code also provides for the death penalty, if the offense of rape resulted in the death of the victim.

Burden of proof
In UAE criminal jurisprudence, the burden of proof lies on the prosecution which is substantiated with the testimonies of the witness. However, it is important to note that making a false allegation of rape is also punishable. As per Article 276 of the Penal code, if a person makes a false report to the judicial or administrative authorities of offense or presents fabricated evidence in the court of law, he/she shall be punishable with a jail term along with the fine. The presence of mala fide intention may aggravate the quantum of punishment.

Prior to a recent amendment of 2020, the consensual sexual intercourse outside the marriage was considered as an offense of illicit sex. Now, with the changes, it is permissible and no longer remains an offense if both the parties are adults and have consensually done the same.

In short
In light of the recent amendment, it is evident that UAE has adopted a balanced approach pertaining to the offense of rape. On one hand, it decriminalised the consensual sex, whereas on other hand, it made the punishment more severe, if this offense is committed against a minor or a person suffering from disability.

For detailed information regarding this, you can contact us.

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