Help end forced marriage in Lebanon - FreedomUnited.org

Help End Forced Marriage in Lebanon

ALERT: READ UPDATE

Momentum is growing to repeal laws that enable convicted rapists to marry their victims to avoid punishment. As well as the horrors endured by victims, this law means many women and girls where these laws exist are then forced into marriage against their will.

Latifa Basma Mohamad was 19 years old when she was forced to marry the middle-aged man who raped her. “My sister didn’t like the deal, but I assured her, it will be temporary,” her brother said.1

On August 1, following a heated debate, the Parliament of Jordan repealed a law that states that if a valid marriage contract is held between the rapist and his victim and the marriage lasts for more than three years, the charges will be dropped.2

Pressure for change is mounting in neighboring Lebanon where a parliamentary vote on abolishing similar laws is anticipated soon. Our partner, women’s rights group KAFA Lebanon and also Abaad, are highlighting the archaic practice of ‘marry your rapist’ laws, including by hanging torn and bloodied wedding dresses along the seaside promenade in Beirut, Lebanon.3 In Jordan, a committee of MPs recommended a similar law should simply be amended; however, 63 organizations came together and campaigned to abolish it in its entirety. Bjoining together with one powerful voice, civil society succeeded in persuading the government that the only option was to repeal the law.

Let’s achieve the same in Lebanon, where ‘marry your rapist’ legislation contained in the Penal Code encourages the modern slavery practice of forced marriage and forced child marriage.

Whilst there is a wave of momentum building, let’s help repeal these laws that remain in countries as diverse as the Philippines to Tajikistan, but with our effort, not for much longer in Lebanon.4

Campaign updates

16 Aug 2017: Lebanon’s parliament has taken an important step in abolishing a criminal code provision that allowed rapists to escape prosecution by marrying their victims. However we need to continue to push for all these laws to be repealed to help end forced marriage.

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Tell Lebanon’s Parliament to repeal 'marry your rapist' laws

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Dear Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, Mr Nabih Berri,

Articles of the Penal Code that enable a rapist to marry their victim and escape penalty, must be repealed. These provisions result in secondary victimization as women and girls are then forced into marriage, a form of modern slavery.

In light of the recent decision in the Parliament of Jordan to bring down a similar law, and the growing momentum to ensure women’s rights are respected and modern slavery is abolished, I encourage you to call for full Parliamentary support to repeal these Articles, including 505, 518 and 522 in their entirety, so that women and girls are protected from forced marriage.

 

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your address]

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Our partner in this campaign:

KAFA

KAFA Enough Violence and Exploitation is a Lebanese women's rights nonprofit that seeks to realize gender equality through the adoption of a combination of different approaches, such as: advocacy for law reform and introduction of new laws and policies; influencing public opinion, practices and mentality; conducting research and training; and empowering women and children victims of violence, providing them with social, legal, and psychological support.

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