Women Demonstrators Demand Severe Actions Against Repists, Abductors

Harar, Dec. 3 (WIC) Women of Mettu town and its environs, Illubabor zone, have demanded that strict punitive actions be taken against those individuals found committing rape and abduction crimes against girl children. During a peaceful demonstration they held in Mettu town yesterday, the women numbering about ten-thousand demanded that the present criminal code be amended so as to impose a more severe punishment on rapists and abductors. Some of the placards carried by the demonstrators read, "the Law Must Punish Offenders", "Women's Constitutional Rights Must Be Respected", and "Rapists Must Be Severely Punished."

Some of the demonstrators, in interviews they gave to WIC, expressed regrets that the failure of the courts to administer fair justice has contributed to the growing rape and abduction crime rates.

Addressing the rally participants, Woizero Illeni Demissie, head of the women's affairs office of the zone, said that the rape and abduction crimes committed against girl children, apart from causing physical and moral damage to the girls, are also exposing victims to the deadly AIDS disease.

In another news, the women's affairs office of East Haraghie zone said that the incidence of harmful cultural practices is being reduced in the zone. Office acting head Woizero Alfia Abdurahman told WIC yesterday that female circumcision, abductions and rape are some of the most common harmful traditional practices. She said her office has launched vigorous agitation campaigns against such practices.