A group of Syrian men wants to overthrow more than just the regime in their country—they also want to change the brutal practice of killing women who have been raped or, at the very least, not allowing them to marry. Upon hearing about the recent rapes of four sisters by pro-government troops, 16 men in Khirbet al-Jous decided to marry the women. The field of suitors has since been narrowed to four.
“They are victims of the revolution, and we will protect them,” says the man who proposed the idea. The women are from a nearby town and are at a Turkish hospital now, although the Washington Post could not verify their story. The men would not name the victims in order to avoid bringing shame upon the women’s family. They say the rapes illustrate an escalation of the government’s violence: “At first, they said it was sectarianism. Then they said it was criminal gangs,” says one of the men. “When that did not work, as a third step, they are attacking our honor.”