Malta, femicide to become a distinct criminal offence

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese goverment will strengthen the fight against gender-based violence and will introduce the concept of femicide in the Criminal Code. The decision was taken by the Cabinet and announced by Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela over ruling the decision taken last month by Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis who dismissed calls by the civil society to codify femicide in law.

The latest development came following the killing of Polish student Paulina Dembska, 20 who was also raped in a public garden in Sliema on January, 2. 20-year-old Abner Aquilina is accused of the deliberate murder of Dembska.

Maltese Premier Robert Abela said that the decision was taken after consultation with the civil society and announced that the parliamentary process to approve the legal amendments will start as soon as possible. Activists and women rights’ organisations have campaigned for the introduction of femicide as an aggravation.

Although Malta implemented the Istanbul Convention in 2018, the laws in place do not fully protect women who experience domestic violence incidents.

Source: medNews