Afghan President Karzai urged to veto law that could protect abusers

Feb. 8, 2014 at 11:50 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai is being urged to veto a law that could protect those who abuse and sexually assault women and children from prosecution.

The Criminal Procedure Code passed by Parliament bars relatives from testifying against an accused abuser, Khaama Press reported Saturday. Opponents of the law say the only witnesses in most domestic violence cases are relatives.

One woman wrote the president describing her experience of being abused physically and sexually by a son of a family that sheltered her when she was suffering from malnutrition.

She said she would have "died an agonizing mental death" but was saved by one person who reported the abuse to authorities.

"To bar the testimony of the only possible witnesses gives carte blanche to torturers and violators," she said.

More than 1 million people around the world have signed petitions urging Karzai to block the change, and 179,000 have sent him personal messages, Khaama reported.

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