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Lebanon parlamient abolish rape law after campaign

Thu, 17.08.2017 08:34



Lebanon's parliament on Wednesday abolished a law that allowed rapists to avoid prison by marrying their victims.

A proposal to repeal Article 522 of the penal code - which deals with rape, assault, kidnapping and forced marriage - was introduced last year and approved by a parliamentary committee in February.

The repeal of the law, which had been in place since the 1940s, follows years of campaigning by women's rights advocates.

Activists have campaigned against the country's law for more than a year, posting billboards of women in bloodied and torn wedding gowns.

The caption reads: "A white dress does not cover the rape."

The Lebanese law states that rape is punishable by up to seven years in prison, or more if the victim is mentally or physically disabled. Article 522 added that if the rapist marries the victim, criminal prosecution is suspended.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the official National News Agency and activist group ABAAD congratulated women in Lebanon.

"It is no longer possible to escape punishment for rape and sexual acts carried out by force and coercion," said the group, which has spearheaded the campaign to repeal the much-reviled article.

"Today's win is a victory for the dignity of women," the NGO said.

There are no precise figures on how many rapists marry their victims to avoid punishment, but activists say the practice mainly took place in rural areas.

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Source: Al Jazeera

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