Tanzania Has Pardoned Two Child Rapists And Called For Pregnant Schoolgirls To Be Arrested

The move is being touted as, 'promoting a culture of human rights violations'.

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In a move that is being touted as 'promoting a culture of human rights violations' by activists, the Tanzanian President John Magufuli has released two child rapists from prison.

According to the Guardian, Magufuli announced on the East African country's independence day speech that he would be pardoning two high profile peadophiles. The now-released convicts are singer Nguzu Viking, known as Babu Seya, and his son, Johnson Ngazu, known as Papii Kocha. They have served 13 years of their sentenced. Convicted in 2003, the two men were found guilty of raping 10 primary school children aged between six and eight.

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President John Magufuli

This news came alongside John Mongella's, the regional commissioner of Mwanda, call for pregnant schoolgirls to be taken into custody. In an attempt to crack down on teen pregnancies, Magufuli announced earlier this year that pregnant girls should be banned from schools. Now Mongella is following his lead by stating they should be arrested and forced to testify against those who impregnated them.

Fazia Mohamed, the director of Equality Now's Africa office, said:

While President Mungafuli is pardoning convicted child rapists, regional commissioner John Mongella is calling on pregnant school girls to be arrested and taken to court. Tanzania's leaders are promoting a culture of human rights violations in which young victims of sexual violence are being punished while perpetrators are going free.

Pregnant schoolgirls in the country are often said to be survivors of rape or sexual coercion, and many, like Mohamed, argue that these policies harm the victims rather than helping them.

'It is unacceptable that convicted child molesters walk free by order of a president who simultaneously denies victims of assault access to education if they become pregnant.'

There is a change.org petition urging the President to reconsider his position on pregnant students access to education.

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