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Attacks prompt bill to ban prostitution

March 15, 2013 at 2:21 PM

LYON, France, March 15 (UPI) -- A French women's rights group says it has renewed calls for a prostitution ban after an angry customer threw acid on three prostitutes in an apparent dispute.

A 46-year-old suspect was arrested this week in the January attack on three women -- ages 26, 27 and 30 -- in Lyon, The Local.fr reported Thursday.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France's minister for women's rights, said shortly after her appointment she wanted prostitution to "disappear."

Parliament is expected to consider a bill this year to make paying for sex illegal.

Julie Muret, a spokeswoman for women's rights group Osez le Feminisme, said her organization supports the bill.

Prostitutes work in a "violent environment" where they are "spat at, insulted and punched," she said.

"This is because prostitutes are not treated like people, or even employees, but like objects," Muret said.

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