The penal code is currently being revised by the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Commission who left the much of the penal code – a Portuguese inheritance from 1886 – unscathed.

The contested piece of legislation is a provision made for in Article 400 that states that cases of rape will be dropped by the state if the perpetrator marries the victim. If the rapist has already been sentenced, the marriage suspends the sentence. Thus, the sentence would only be enforced if the couple separate or divorce.

The law has been in place for over a century but the commission ignored a perfect opportunity to trash a law that’s been lambasted by human rights organisations all over the world as outrageous.

Another article on rape that was to be protested is that of “illicit copulation”. According to this law, rape as a definition, falls outside the boundaries of marriage. Because marital sex is considered “licit”, this would mean that marital rape is not “illicit” or illegal.

Source: Independent Online