Afghanistan Changing 'Legalized Rape' Law

Afghan prez says he hadn't been aware law was on the books
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2009 8:48 AM CDT
Afghan female police officers link their arms to create a barrier for Shiite counter protesters during a demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, April 15, 2009.    (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
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(Newser) – Afghanistan will revise a law that critics say legalizes marital rape, President Hamid Karzai tells CNN. Karzai said he was unaware of the provision, part of a 270-page piece of legislation covering the country's 6 million Shiite Muslims. "Now I have instructed, in consultation with clergy of the country, that the law be revised and any article that is not in keeping with the Afghan constitution and Islamic Sharia must be removed from this law," he said.

The law—labeled "abhorrent" by President Obama—stated that a wife must submit to her husband's sexual advances, unless ill. Karzai's decision came the day after women from across Afghanistan marched in Kabul to protest the law, meeting violent opposition from a counter-demonstration of Shia men who pelted them with stones.