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Lebanon ‘closer to repealing’ controversial rape law

Article 522 of the Lebanese penal code allows rapists to avoid prosecution if they marry their victim

Published: Updated:

After several campaigns by women’s rights activists, several members of parliament in Lebanon have agreed to work to revoke a nearly 70-year-old law allowing rapists to avoid prosecution if they marry their victim.

Many Lebanese women, dressed as brides in white wedding dresses stained with fake blood and bandages, gathered last week outside government buildings in Lebanon’s capital to protest against the law.

Article 522 of the Lebanese penal code states: “In the event a legal marriage is concluded between the person who committed [crimes including rape, kidnapping and statutory rape] and the victim, prosecution shall be stopped and in case a decision is rendered, the execution of such decision shall be suspended against the person who was subject to it.”

“We reject this violation of women regardless of their age, background, environment, whether they have special needs or the circumstances of the rape,” said Ghida Anani, head of Abaad, a local NGO campaigning against the law.

(With the AP)