Afghan President Karzai Pledges To Change Shia Family Law

Yesterday Afghan President Hamid Karzai pledged to change the law that many in the world has deemed a legal way for men to rape their wives because of the concerns that it is violating basic human rights.
The law allows a man to demand sex with his wife every four days unless she is ill or would be harmed by intercourse. The law also restricts the movements of a married woman outside of her home.

The Toronto Star reports:

“Amendments will take place,” and the law “will not have any concerns on any account of human rights and especially the rights of the Afghan people,” Karzai told reporters at a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Later, Brown said he discussed the law with Karzai.

“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 our constitution and in the principles of the international treaties,” Karzai said.

The wording of the existing law applies to the Shiites in the nation. They make up less than 20 per cent of the Afghan population.

Karzai has said that completion of the law review process will happen prior to May 21 when his term ends.

The Afghan constitution guarantees equality of the sexes. The nation is also a signer of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The new law violates provisions of both documents.

President Karzai says that the controversial portions of the 239-page document were buried in theological jargon. He claims that when he was briefed on the document those details were not included in the briefing.

The changes to the newly passed bill should be made before voting time in August according to Sabrina Saqib, a legislator from Kabul who was in the meeting.


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