No forgiveness for ‘crimes against the state’

In the finalised draft for legislation on acid crimes, the National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) has proposed the government bear expenses for rehabilitation of burn victims and punish the perpetrators severely.

The bill, submitted by the Ministry of Women Development and Acid Survivor Foundation for review, has been divided into two parts to separately deal with acid crimes and acid attack prevention.

Acid Crimes Bill advocates severe punishment for the perpetrators while Acid Prevention Bill is drafted for controlling the distribution of acid and evolving a mechanism to criminalize its unlawful sale.

Talking to APP here on Sunday, an official of NCSW said that the commission has proposed to set up a rehabilitation board comprising lawyers, doctors and civil society members to provide all possible assistance to the victims of acid crimes.

He said that according
to the bill, hospitals treating acid burn victims will be legally bound to report
the matter to the police, while legal and health expenses – including therapy, treatment and surgeries – for the victims will be borne by the state.

The severity of punishment will be set according to the intensity of the burn injury, the official added.

Experts who reviewed the bill termed acid crimes as “crimes against the state” and proposed that the
clause of forgiveness of perpetrators be removed from legislation.

Acid violence is a global phenomenon and such crimes are committed not only in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Uganda, Cambodia and Pakistan but also in the United Kingdom.

The victims of acid burns not only suffer physical and medial complication but also go through psychological trauma.

The Express Tribune



February 2016
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