Karzai Backs Down Over ‘Abhorrent’ Marital Rape Law
28 Apr 09 | Times
President Karzai bowed to international pressure yesterday by promising to amend a new law condoning marital rape and child marriage that provoked violent clashes in the Afghan capital.
The Shia Family Law, signed by the Afghan President last month, appeared to reintroduce the draconian policies of the Taleban era, such as a ban on married women leaving their homes without their husbands’ permission. The law applies to the 15 per cent of Afghans who are Shia Muslims.
At a press conference in Kabul yesterday Mr Karzai said: “The law is under review and amendments will take place. I assure you that the laws of Afghanistan will be in complete harmony with the constitution of Afghanistan, and the human rights that we have adhered to in international treaties.”
His statement appeared to rebut widespread speculation that by signing the law he was pandering to conservatives before this summer’s delayed presidential election. Mr Karzai confirmed that he would stand in the elections, where he will be the front-runner. >>>