Karzai Demands Review of 'Home Rape' Law

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2009 2:32 PM CDT
Afghan women, wearing blue scarves that symbolizes justice, during a ceremony to mark the International Women's Day.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pressure from British and German leaders over legalized rape in Afghanistan has pushed President Hamid Karzai to order a review of a law governing Shiites, Reuters reports. Karzai said the Justice Ministry would scrutinize the Shiite Personal Status Law and send it back to parliament if necessary. But he said Western officials had misunderstood the law, which has been approved but not enacted.

British PM Gordon Brown said his country, which is poised to boost troop levels in Afghanistan ahead of elections there, could not support a law that violates human rights. “People will not accept that British soldiers are working” there, he said, “if the rights of women are not being properly upheld.” The Afghan law facing judicial review pertains to the 15% of Afghans who are Shiite.