China has amended its laws on sexual assault and has criminalised ‘male rape’
Offenders will face a minimum of five years in jail.
Previously rape legislation only recognised rape as being against women. It has now been updated to say to say “indecent or sexual assault on others, men or women”.
The amendment has been passed by the top legislature, Xinhua news agency reported.
The change has been welcomed by LGBT activists who say it was previously impossible for offenders found guilty of male rape to receive appropriate punishment.
This injustice has been seen many times in China.
In 2010, a security guard sexually abused his male colleague in the employee dormitory. The offender could only be convicted of intentional injury, and therefore was only sentenced to 12 months in prison.
In another case last year, a man accused of kidnapping and raping another man was released with just a caution because male rape was not recognised as a crime.
The revised law has also repealed sex with underage prostitutes as the crime and reclassified it as rape.
As under the previous law, people face a maximum of 15 years in prison for sex with prostitutes under 14 years of age, while those convicted of raping a child may receive the death sentence.
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