Sierra Leone Declares🔊 Emergency Over👉 Rape and Sexual Assault

  |   World News

Sierra Leone has declared a national emergency over sexual and gender-based violence after recorded cases of rape and assault doubled over the last year.

President Julius Maada Bio announced the emergency on Thursday amid a public outcry over the issue, triggered by a series of high-profile attacks.

Mr Bio said attacks on minors - which account for a third of all cases - would be punished with a life sentence.

Activists say many assaults are not punished under current laws.

According to police statistics, more than 8,500 cases were recorded last year - a rise of nearly 4,000 on the figure from the previous year - in a country of 7.5 million people.

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