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Protesters in Malawi demand tougher penalties for rape

By Charles Pensulo

Blantyre – Hundreds of Malawians took to the streets on Monday to demand tougher rape penalties following months of protests over sexual abuse in the country, including a high-profile case involving the head of the public broadcaster.

The demonstrators presented a petition to city authorities in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu, calling on the government to set up a sex offenders registry, women’s shelters, special courts for sexual crimes and overhaul school sex education.

“Not much is being is being done… to send an absolutely clear message to Malawian men that sexual violence will not be tolerated and the consequences of such crime will be harsh penalties,” the petition said.

“We have heard enough rhetoric, it is time for action and the time is right now,” it read.

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