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Libyan Penal Code of 1953, Amended 1956 (selected provisions related to women) – 4: Title III – Offences Against Freedom, Honour and Morals

Article 407 – Carnal Connection by Force

Whoever has carnal connection with another by force or threats or deceit shall be punished with a penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years. The same penalty shall apply to whomever shall have carnal connection with a juvenile under the age of fourteen years or with a person unable to resist by reason of bodily or mental sickness, even with consent. If the prejudiced person is of major age, has completed fourteen years but has not attained eighteen years, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years. If the offender was an ascendant of the person upon whom the act is committed, or the offender is entrusted with the care or supervision of that person, or if the offender is one having authority over that person, or if the person upon whom the act is committed is a servant in the employ of the offender or in the employ of any of the persons  hereinbefore mentioned, then the penalty shall be imprisonment of between 5 and 15 years.

Article 408 – Indecent Assault

Whoever, using any of the means referred to in the preceding Article, commits an indecent assault upon another shall be punished by a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years. The same penalty shall apply to whomsoever commits the act upon a person under the age of fourteen years, or upon a person who is unable to resist for mental or bodily sickness, even with consent. If the age of the prejudiced person is between fourteen and eighteen years the penalty shall be detention for a period of not less than one year. If the offender is one of the persons mentioned in the last paragraph of the preceding Article then the penalty shall be imprisonment of up to 7 years.

Article 409 – Seduction of Juveniles

Whoever seduces a male or female juvenile under the age of eighteen years for the commission of prostitution or indecent acts, or facilitates them, or who induces the juvenile in any manner whatsoever to commit an indecent act, or commits such an act in front of him upon a person of either sex, shall be punished by a penalty of detention. The penalty shall be doubled if the offender is one of the persons mentioned in Article 407.

Article 410 – Indecent Acts Between Persons of the Same Sex

In cases other than those mentioned in Articles 407 and 408, whoever commits an indecent act or has sexual connection with another with his consent shall be, together with his accomplice, punished by detention if the act is discovered or the offender is arrested in flagrante delicto in a public place.

Article 411 – Abduction With Intention of Marriage

Whoever abducts an unmarried woman or detains her by force, threats or deceit, with the intention of marrying her, shall be punished by a penalty of detention for a period of not less than 6 months. The penalty shall be detention for a period of not less than 1 year if the act is committed against an unmarried female whose age is between fourteen and eighteen years. The same penalty shall be applied even though the the act be committed with consent if the female is under fourteen years of age, or if she is mentally sick, or unable to resist.

Article 412 – Abduction for the Commission of Indecent Acts

Whoever abducts a person, or detains a person by force, threats or deceit, for the purpose of the commission of indecent acts shall be punished by a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years. The penalty shall be increased by an amount not exceeding one third if the act is committed against a person who has not completed the age of eighteen years or against a married woman.

Article 413 – Abduction Without Force of a Juvenile Under Fourteen Years of Age or of Mental Defective

The penalties prescribed by the last paragraph of the two preceding Articles shall be applied to anyone who commits the acts therein mentioned without force, threats or deceit against a juvenile under the age of fourteen years or against a person mentally sick or unable to resist by reason of personal or bodily weakness, even if this weakness was not caused by the offender.

Article 414 – Extenuating Circumstances

The penalties prescribed in the three preceding Articles shall be reduced to a half if, before his conviction and before the commission of any indecent act with the person abducted, the offender takes steps for the return to freedom of the person abducted and for his return to the place where he was abducted or to place him in a place of security where his family or those entrusted with his supervision may receive him back.

Article 415 – Incitement to Prostitution

Whoever, for the lust of another, induces a juvenile or person mentally defective to prostitution , or facilitates the same, shall be punished by a penalty of detention for a period not less than 1 year and a fine not exceeding two hundred pounds. Under the following circumstances the penalty shall be doubled: -

1. If the act is committed against a person under the age of fourteen years;

2. If the offender is one of the ascendants of the persons against whom the act is committed, or one of the ascendants of the wife of the said person, or if the offender is an adoptive father or a spouse or brother or sister or guardian of the said person;

3. If the offender is entrusted with the care, education, supervision, custody, or apprenticeship or instruction of the person against whom the act is committed.

Article 416 – Compulsion to Prostitution

Whoever, for the lust of another, uses force or violence to compel a juvenile or an adult woman to prostitution shall be punished by a penalty of imprisonment of from 2 to 6 years and of a fine of between 150 and 500 pounds. The penalty shall be doubled in the circumstances provided for by the second paragraph of the preceding Article or if the act is committed against a married woman.

Article 417 – Living on Earnings of Prostitution

Whoever, whether male or female, maintains himself partly or wholly upon the earnings of a woman by prostitution shall be punished by a penalty of detention for a period of not less than 1 year and a fine not exceeding two hundred pounds.

Article 418 – Traffic in Women to Foreign Territory

Whoever compels a woman by force or threats to emigrate to a place abroad with the knowledge that she will there practice prostitution shall be punished by a penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years and a fine of between 200 and 500 pounds. The same penalty shall apply to anyone who induces a juvenile or mentally defective adult woman by any means whatsoever to emigrate to a place abroad with the knowledge that they will there practice prostitution. If the act was accompanied by force or threats then the penalty shall be increased by an amount of one half. The penalty shall be double in the circumstances provided for in the last paragraph of Article 415 of this Code as also if the act is committed in respect of two or more persons, even if their destinations differ.

Article 419 – Facilitation of Traffic in Women

Whoever facilitates in any manner whatsoever the commission of one of the offences provided for by the preceding Article with knowledge that the same is for the purpose of the practice of prostitution shall be punished by a penalty of imprisonment of between 1 and 5 years and of a fine of between 100 and 500 pounds, unless he is an accomplice in which case the provisions of the final paragraph of the preceding Article shall apply.

Article 420 – Traffic in Women by a Libyan

A Libyan shall be punished for the acts provided for in the two preceding Articles although he may have committed the same while abroad.

Article 421 – Indecent Acts and Articles

Whoever commits an act of indecency in a public place or in an open place or in a place to which the public has access shall be punished by a penalty of detention for a period not exceeding 1 year or of a fine not exceeding fifty pounds. The same penalty shall apply to anyone who offends against public decency by the distribution of writings, pictures, or other articles of an indecent nature, or who publicly exposes the same or offers the same for sale. Artistic or scientific production shall not be considered as indecent unless they are preferred for other than an instructional purpose to a person under the age of eighteen years for sale by him or if they are offered for sale to him or if he is facilitated in the obtaining thereof by any means whatsoever.

Article 422 – Age of Person Against Whom Offence is Committed

The offender shall not be excused by ignorance of the age of the person against whom any of the offences provided for in this Title are committed if that person is under the age of fourteen years.

Article 423 – Complaint of Persons Against Whom the Offence is Committed

Public Cases* in respect of offences provided for by Articles 407, 408, 409, 411, 412 and 413 of this Code shall not be instituted except upon the complaint of the person against whom they are committed, except under the following circumstances: -

1. If the offence is committed by a parent or adoptive parent or a guardian or a public official contravening the limits of his authority or in breach of the duties of his office;

2. If the offence is accompanied by another offence requiring the immediate institution of proceedings.

*”Public Cases” i.e. cases prosecuted by the State in the interests of the public; in some cases, however this Code makes the prosecution depend upon the complaint of the person injured.

Article 424 – Extinction of , or Stay of Execution of, Penalty

If the offender marries the woman against whom the offence is committed the offence and penalty are extinguished and the penal effects thereof cease and this shall apply both to the offender and to the accomplices, provided that the law of the personal status of the offender does not permit divorce or repudiation. But if the law of the personal status of the offender permits divorce or repudiation then the marriage of the offender shall only have the effect of staying the institution of criminal proceedings or of staying the execution of the penalty for a period of three years. The stay shall cease before termination of three years from the date of the offence if the woman against whom the offence is committed is repudiated for no valid reason or if a decree of divorce is issued in her favour.