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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Lebanon moves to abolish law that allows rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims

Lebanese lawmakers on Wednesday took the first step to overturn a law that allows rapists to avoid punishment if they marry their victims. Article 522 of the penal code states that if a man rapes an unmarried woman, he can avoid prosecution for the crime if he marries the victim.

This move came a day after protesters wearing fake-blood-stained wedding gowns confronted lawmakers just steps away from Parliament in the capital Beirut.

After a scheduled review of Article 522, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri revealed that a parliamentary committee had agreed to push forward with a plan that would abolish the law.

In Lebanon, among other Middle Eastern countries, rape is seen as an mark against a woman and her family's honor. Victims of rape are sometimes pushed to marry their attacker as a way to preserve their honor and lead a normal life.

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