Lesotho Justice Minister Proposes Death Penalty for People Who Commit Sexual Offenses Knowing They Are HIV-Positive
HIV-positive people who know they have the virus and commit sexual offenses would be subject to the death penalty under a bill presented on Wednesday to the Lesotho Parliament by Refiloe Masemene, minister of justice, law and constitutional affairs in the Southern African nation, the South African Press Association reports. Under the bill, all sexual offenders would be tested for HIV. Offenders determined to be HIV-positive who knew of their status at the time of their crimes would receive the death penalty if convicted. Those who test HIV-positive but were not aware of their status would receive a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison (South African Press Association, 8/7). The bill would also expand the definition of a sex crime to include child molestation, commercial exploitation of children and child prostitution. Health Minister Motloheloa Phooko said that the bill was necessary because of the increasing incidence of rape, especially the rape of children (Associated Press, 8/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.