India Toughens Sex Crime Laws

    Indian activists shout slogans during a protest for the implementation  of harsher punishments and quicker trials for rape cases in New Delhi on February 4,2013. A government-appointed panel recommended harsher punishments for rapists, including the death penalty,after the death of the women, who spent nearly two weeks fighting for her life before succumbing to her injuries in a Singapore hospital where she was flown for last-ditch treatment. AFP PHOTO/ SAJJAD HUSSAIN        (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

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    India passed sweeping legislation on Sunday to crack down on sexual assault and trafficking in the wake of the horrific gang rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi in December. The new laws are the most wide-ranging yet in India, where many have blamed the government for not doing enough to prevent sexual assault. Still, some said these new laws had not gone far enough, since they do not address marital rape nor deal with the thorny issue of sexual assault in the military. The new laws go into effect immediately and change the definition of rape, which in the past had applied to penetration only and anything short of that had carried only a light penalty for “intent to outrage” a woman’s “modesty.”

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