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After criticism, Greece toughens rape law

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Greece has toughened its legislation to define rape as any non-consensual sexual act, following criticism that an earlier proposed overhaul of the current definition was too lenient to offenders.

The last-minute change approved in parliament on Thursday is lauded by activists who say it lessens the burden of proof for alleged victims.

Current legislation defines rape as a forced sexual act following violence or the threat of "severe or direct danger."

The change is part of a broader criminal law reform that reduces sentences for some serious offences but ensures more convicted criminals are sent to prison.

Once the law comes into effect in July, convicted rapists will serve five to 10 years in prison.

Amnesty International hailed the new definition of rape as a "historic victory" for women in Greece.

© AP 2019

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