Imprisoned Teen Freed After Agreeing to Marry Rapist

Now Gulnaz faces chilling future with her attacker
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2011 12:33 AM CST
Updated Dec 2, 2011 4:15 AM CST

(Newser) – A 19-year-old Afghan woman imprisoned for more than two years after she reported being raped by a relative is finally set to be freed—because she has agreed to marry her rapist, reports the Guardian. The woman, Gulnaz, who is the subject of a censored documentary, has resisted until now the pressure to marry her attacker, who may end up killing her because of his "humiliation," reports the New York Times. But the presidential palace announced last night that Gulnaz has agreed to become her attacker's second wife. "She feels like she has no other option than to marry him," said British filmmaker Clementine Malpas. "I know she wants honor, and I also know she doesn't want to marry this man. And of course I am worried about what the future holds for her because of this decision."

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Gulnaz was sentenced to 12 years for adultery after she reported being raped by a cousin in an attack that left her pregnant. She gave birth to a daughter in prison. Her predicament is not unusual. Close to half of the nation's 600 female prisoners are behind bars for similar situations. Supporters have criticized the US and other Western nations for not taking a tougher stance on women's rights in the nation where they have committed troops and aid. The documentary that exposed Gulnaz's case was funded by the European Union, but diplomats then blocked it out of fear that it would harm their relationship with Afghanistan, notes the Times. (Read more Gulnaz stories.)

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