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Lawyer Plays Down Call By Women’s Rights Group For Malta To Make Femicide A Specific Criminal Offence

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Lawyer Veronique Dalli has played down calls by the Women’s Rights Foundation for Malta to introduce specific legislation against “femicide”, arguing that crimes for homicide are already strict enough.

“Laws for homicide, which in this case is a femicide, already exist and I don’t think there can be stricter penalty than life imprisonment,” Dalli told TVM yesterday. 

However, she did say the country requires a “culture change” so that people stop objectifying women and start treating them with the dignity they deserve.  

Following the murder of Paulina Dembska, the Women’s Rights Foundation and the University of Malta proposed that femicide should be considered an aggravated offence to homicide. 

Volt Malta, a new political party, also endorsed the specific criminalisation of femicide, describing it as a “serious issue that continues to occur in Malta”.

In practice, this would mean that punishments for murder would be even stricter if they are deemed to be a femicide, that is the murder of a woman or girl because of their gender. 

Police have yet to press charges against Abner Aquilina, the young man suspected of Dembska’s murder, but Lovin Malta is informed that they intend to do so.

Cover photo: Left: Veronque Dalli (Photo: TVM), Right: Lara Dimitrijevic (Photo: Women’s Rights Foundation)

Do you think Malta should specifically criminalise femicide? 

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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