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Libyan Cabinet says revolt's rape victims should be war victims

TRIPOLI, Libya, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Women who were raped in the 2011 uprising that toppled Libya's longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi should be considered war victims, the Cabinet said.

The Cabinet's decree, which needs congressional approval, would classify women the same as wounded ex-fighters, entitling them to compensation, the BBC reported Thursday.

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Pro-Gadhafi forces allegedly used rape as a weapon. During the uprising, the International Criminal Court said it collected evidence that Gadhafi ordered the rape of women as a weapon against rebel forces.

The BBC said the recognition of rape victims as war victims would unprecedented in the conservative country where it is a taboo subject.

Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani told the British broadcaster the decree contains 12 provisions, including language on financial assistance, and physical and psychological healthcare.

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