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Repeal of Article 522 is but a sectarian swap

17-8-2017

The Lebanese Parliament repealed yesterday Article 522 of the Penal Code which exonerate a rapist should he marry his victim, noting that this abolition has come after years of campaigning by women’s rights groups. Commenting on the news, Kafa, Enough Violence and Exploitation, described it as ceremonial and incomplete, saying “parliamentarians are trying to distract us by unfinished victories.” Kafa communications officer, Maya Ammar, told Al Modon electronic portal that despite the tokenistic scrapping of Article 522, yet its effects remain under Article 505. The latter exempts sex with a minor (who completed her 15 years) if the perpetrator marries his survivor. The same, Ammar added, applies to Article 518 related to forced sex by means of deception to marry the victim. Article 505, Ammar noted, is extremely perilous as it involves marriage with an underage girl who is unaware of her decision. Ammar pledged to keep the struggle to revoke the complete effects of the contentious and antiquated Article 522 and to pass the law on setting the minimum age of marriage at 18 years. The minister of state for women’s affairs, Jean Oggasapian, expressed reservations over retaining Articles 505 and 518, stating that there should be no compromise or exceptions to escape the crime of rape. On the other hand, lawyer Daniele Howayek from Abaad organization, said the repeal of Article 522 is an achievement and a victory for women despite attempts by some women rights groups to suggest the opposite by focusing on the controversial Articles 505 and 518. For reference, during the legislative session devoted to the repeal vote, MP Sammy Gemayel warned against the right to marry under 18 as endorsed by Article 505, to which Parliament Speaker replied by saying that under Muslim personal status laws, marriage is okayed if the guardian of the minor approves. Spiritual courts, he maintained, will pay a particular caring attention to this issue, clarifying that necessities permit the prohibited, and that addressing the subject should be gradual. (Al Diyar, Al Mustaqbal, Al Akhbar, August 17, 2017

 

Previous related news:
Sub-committee abolish legal clause condoning the marriage of rapist to his victim
Calls for full annulment of an unfair law article on VAW

Sit-in near the Parliament to protest forced marriage of a raped woman to her rapist
 

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