The Afghan President Hamid Karzai has a proposed law on his desk. It’s already been passed by the parliament, and it’s just waiting for his signature. If he does sign it, it will seal off an escape route for Afghan women facing violence.
The law would prohibit relatives from testifying against abusers about the violence they witness. Given that domestic violence often occurs behind a home’s closed doors, the most likely witnesses would be family members. Women seeking justice for their trauma and suffering would find it harder — or perhaps impossible — to pursue prosecutions against their abusers.
When we found out about this proposed legislation, our Executive Director Yifat Susskind had this to say:
“This new law awaiting President Karzai’s signature is appalling. If passed, it would silence witnesses who could otherwise support women’s pursuit of justice for the torture and abuse they have faced in their homes. It would condemn women to endure further violence. And it reflects an all-too-common tactic to suggest that domestic violence is a private matter, rather than a crucial human rights issue that governments are obligated to address.”
Women for Afghan Women has prepared two petitions to denounce this law. You can sign those by clicking here:
Read more about this issue:
Afghan Women Rally against Domestic Violence (February 13, Washington Post)
A law that would permit Afghan men to hurt and rape female relatives, by Manizha Naderi (February 6, The Guardian)