Sidi Ifni - Most cases of violence against women in Afghanistan take place in the household. A new law has been passed to allow men to attack their wives, sisters and children, the Guardian reports.
Sidi Ifni – Most cases of violence against women in Afghanistan take place in the household. A new law has been passed to allow men to attack their wives, sisters and children, the Guardian reports.
The law, recently passed by Parliament, bans victims of domestic violence from filing lawsuits against their relatives.
Under the new law, “honour killings” carried out by fathers or brothers who do not approve of a female relative’s behavior would be nearly impossible to punish.
Other crimes that would not result in prosecution under the new law are forced marriage, daughter trading, and beating or starving women and girls.
Prosecutors, for instance, could not take legal action against the abusers of Sahar Gul, a child who was starved, burned and whipped for refusing to work as a prostitute for her in-laws.
Commenting on the impact the law will have on Afghan women and their suffering, Manizha Naderi, director of the charity and campaign group Women for Afghan Women said, “The law will make it impossible to prosecute cases of violence against women, the most vulnerable people won’t get justice now.”
According to some Afghan campaigners, this law is expected to silence more victims of violence and lead to unwanted repercussions in the country.
On the predicament of Afghan women and girls, Human Rights Watch said it would “let batterers of women and girls off the hook”.
Even though senators originally sought a milder version of the law, both houses of parliament ultimately passed a draft banning all testimony.
The campaigners who opposed the law are planning to call on president Hamid Karzai to suspend it.
Selay Ghaffar, director of the shelter and advocacy group Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan said, “We will ask the president not to sign until the article is changed, we will put a lot of pressure on him.”
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