Jordan scraps controversial rape law

Women activists protest in front Jordan’s parliament in Amman.

:: Jordan’s parliament on Tuesday scrapped a controversial article in the penal code that allowed a rapist to escape punishment if he married his victim.

“Lawmakers agreed to remove the controversial Article 308, which stops the punishment of a perpetrator of sexual crimes if he marries his victim,” the official Petra news agency reported.

The article was scrapped as parliament passed amendments to the penal law.

Activists have been campaigning for years to abolish the article, which allows rape charges to be dropped if the rapist marries his victim and does not divorce her for five years.

Prime Minister Hani Mulqi backed the move in Tuesday’s parliamentary session.

“The government is committed to eliminating Article 308 to reinforce the protection of the Jordanian family,” he said.

Last week, Tunisia also scrapped an article allowing rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victim when it passed a new law to end violence against women.

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