The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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December 1, 2016

The Daily Star- MPs to abolish law protecting rapists who marry their victims, December 01 , 2016

BEIRUT: Dressed in bandages resembling a white dress, a woman covered with bruises stood outside the Lebanese Parliament Wednesday to call for lawmakers to abolish a penal code article that protects rapists who marry their victims. The action was organized by local NGO ABAAD and aimed to demonstrate that “A White Dress Doesn’t Cover the Rape,” which is the slogan for a campaign launched by the group. MPs in the Administration and Justice Committee were meeting to discuss a draft law to abolish the Article, presented by Lebanese Forces MP Elie Keyrouz.
The committee, however, postponed the discussion of the draft until next Wednesday.
“There are several opinions. Some wanted [the Article] to be amended and others [wanted] a new draft law. There are many conflicting viewpoints,” Danielle Hoyek, a lawyer with ABAAD, told The Daily Star. “This is what prompted us to intensify our mobilization to prevent any amendment from passing.”
Article 522 of the Penal Code states that “If a legal marriage was held between the person who committed any of the crimes mentioned in this chapter and the victim, prosecution will be stopped; and if a verdict in the case was issued, the punishment implementation is suspended.”
The article also clarifies that “Prosecution or the execution of the penalty may be resumed in cases of misdemeanors within three years and within five years in cases of felonies, or in the event such marriage ends by divorce of the woman without a legitimate reason or by a divorce, which is decided ... in favor of the woman.”
The crimes that the article refers to come at the end of the first chapter titled “Assault on Honor” and include rape, kidnapping, indecency, seduction and the violation of sanctity of women’s spaces.
“This article affects a woman’s dignity and reflects society’s perception of women as inferior,” Hoyek explained. “Most probably in today’s discussion there was an agreement to abolish at least the part that refers to rape.”
Hoyek admitted that the full abolishment of the Article is not going to be an easy job, but stressed that any justifications or amendments should not be accepted.
ABAAD has been working on the campaign to abolish Article 522 for several months, but took action to shed light on the matter during the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.
According to data released by ABAAD with the launch of the campaign, only 1 percent of the Lebanese population is aware of what is included in the Article. Their research also indicated that “60 percent of the Lebanese population is in favor of repealing Article 522 with 84 percent of the Lebanese population considering that Article 522 protects the rapist from prosecution and punishment.”
Seventy-three percent of Lebanese consider that the Article increases pressure on women to marry their rapists with the same number considering that the Article reflects society’s preference for preserving a family’s honor, rather than seeking justice for a woman’s suffering.
The Lebanese Forces’ Department of Women’s Affairs urged the prosecution of attackers in a statement issued Wednesday.
“This article insults women and violates their dignity and the safety of the family and stability,” the statement read. “The department expressed its support for Keyrouz’s bill and rejected any adjustment to the law so that it doesn’t open a door for a new settlement that [negatively] affects women victims.”

Source & Link : The Daily Star

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