Women petition Parly over 'revenge porn'

HARARE - A women's advocacy group, Katswe Sistahood (Katswe), has petitioned Parliament to criminalise revenge pornography as more images and videos of naked women in compromising positions emerge on the Internet and social media.

In a presentation to Parliament’s legal affairs portfolio committee, Katswe’s legal and advocacy officer Debra Mwase said revenge pornography was particularly harmful to women.

Revenge pornography, as it is commonly known, is the non-consensual sharing of explicit material with the intention of causing embarrassment or distress.

Mwase said it should be deemed criminal to distribute nude photographs and videos of someone without their consent.

“There is need to ensure that the law keeps up with changes that are happening in the society.

Given the rate of the proliferation of social media and Internet penetration, there is need for the legislature to start considering regulating this space and protect the privacy of women,” Mwase said.

She argued that victims of revenge pornography can sue for damages resulting from the defamatory nature of publication and circulation of pictures or videos.

Mwase also argued that though the Constitution guarantees the right to privacy, obsolete laws that were promulgated before social media sites hinder criminalising revenge pornography.

“The Censorship and Entertainment Act which covers various aspects of pornography was promulgated 49 years ago in 1967 and was last amended 15 years ago.

“Similarly, the Postal and Telecommunications Act ... and the relevant section relating to sending obscene messages on the telephone (section 88) has never been amended,” she said.

Acting Prosecutor-General Ray Koba, however, told legislators that according to the law anyone partaking in filming and distribution of pornographic materials is liable to arrest and prosecution.

He said there is always an inherent risk that when you get naked with someone and take pictures or a recording, that material will be circulated.

Koba added that the situation with revenge pornography is that it does not favour one party over another.

“The challenge is proving evidence linking the product, be they pictures or a video, to the source.

“There is a need to identify the accused person based on a complaint by the complainant and it should be noted that in every crime committed there should be motive-whether to cause harm or because of excitement,” Koba said.

Comments (6)

They are approaching the Parly with dirty hands, why do they need pornography in the first place. Why do they want filmed naked or in the act. Pornography itself is a crime so how can you iffcialise protection of criminal product of a criminal act?

maita - 21 July 2016

the point is to protect those who maybecome victims to their failed relationships. like an ex posting online pics or videos u shared of each other when you were still in a relationship

gatsheni - 21 July 2016

this is very simple, do not film yourself naked or having sex because when you made it it was a sextape now it's public it's revenge porn? Katswe should be out there conscietizing women and young girls to stick to just taking selfies unless they are considering a career in the adult industry

kupusa hatidi - 21 July 2016

please first understand what it is. all the world is affected not only us. all the world is taking action for it. we must behave like civilised countries and take action on it.

brothervera - 21 July 2016

Ha ha ha ha Stupid people! Pornography is against the law. They must be jailed for indirectly admitting that they shoot pornographic videos and pictures

Pedro - 22 July 2016

Let's fear th Lord n Abide in His Word. Zvin

Dhewa - 22 July 2016

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