Human rights violations in countries which subject women to
so-called "honour punishment
FOR ORAL REPLY
ON 16 MARCH 2005
QUESTION NO 7
Rev K R J Meshoe (ACDP) to ask the
Whether the Government has taken or intends taking any
action in respect of human rights violations in countries which subject women
to so-called "honour punishment" such as acid burning, rape and murder
for the alleged crimes of relatives; if not why not; if so (a) what steps and
(b) with what results?
The crimes that the Honourable
member refers to are crimes committed by individuals and not by states. These
crimes are linked to certain cultural or traditional practices, and information
at our disposal indicates that the transgressions are not sanctioned by any government
nor defended by any faith.
International human rights law consistently
condemns torture and other cruel methods of punishment as inconsistent with respect
for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The most instructive international
instrument in this regard is the The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to which South Africa is a signatory.
The South African Government jointly with other members of the international
community condemns such practices at all the United Nations Human Rights Forums,
as they are inconsistent with the international human rights standards and norms.
These practices also undermine the core provisions of the international human
South Africa was also one of the main proponents of the recently
adopted Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture which provides for
mandatory visits to countries and places of detention where torture is reported
to be systematically taking place.