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Amal* was just 12 years old when she was raped by a 24-year-old man in Lebanon. Our partners at the Lebanese Council to Resist Violence against Woman (LECORVAW) came to her aid, making sure that her rapist was arrested. Sadly, however, Amal did not get justice. The rapist and his family knew that by law – specifically Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code which was enacted to preserve “the honor and dignity of the victim’s family” – he could escape prosecution by marrying his victim, and so they pressured Amal’s family to force a marriage, including with offers of money. Though Amal’s parents didn’t accept the offer or the bribe, the criminal court freed the rapist on bail. And, because of the heavy stigma placed on rape survivors, Amal’s parents did not push further for a prosecution. Rather, believing that marriage is her only option, they engaged Amal to a relative.  Now Amal is not only a rape survivor, but is also under threat of “child marriage.” Sadly, this is a common situation for girls who are raped in Lebanon and in other parts of the world where such laws still exist.

There is hope, however, for Amal and the thousands of girls who are victims of these types of legal “rape exemptions.” On 7 December 2016, the Lebanese Parliamentary Administration and Justice Committee approved the repeal of Article 522 from the Penal Code. If Parliament votes yes, then perpetrators of rape, kidnapping or statutory rape would not be able to escape prosecution or other penalties by marrying their victims. Equality Now, LECORVAW and others greatly welcome this move, and we are advocating for the Lebanese Parliament to support and approve the Committee’s decision to revoke this discriminatory article once and for all. Some Arab countries, including Egypt in 1999 and Morocco in 2014, have already revoked rape exemption loopholes and others, including Bahrain, Jordan and Iraq, are discussing revoking such articles.

The vote could happen at any time. Please TAKE ACTION to stop rapists from going free!

Repealing Article 522 would help end the re-victimization of rape and sexual assault survivors and put Lebanon in compliance with its obligations under international law, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In November 2015, following our advocacy with partners, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) specifically recommended to Lebanon to ensure “that all allegations of assault and rape are duly investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned and that victims have access to appropriate redress, including compensation.”  

Please join us to help protect survivors of sexual violence and give them justice! Call on the Speaker of the House, Mr. Nabih Berri, and ask him to encourage the parliament to repeal Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code!  #JusticeforGirls

*not her real name

Letters:

Mr. Saad Al Hariri
Prime Minister
Fax: 00961 1 983022 till 00961 1 983030
00961 1983065
Email: sho@srhoffice.com

Mr Nabih Berri
Speaker of the House
Fax:00961 1 982059 and 00961 1 793088
Email: info@lp.gov.lb

Mr. Saleem Jraisati
Minister of Justice
Fax: 00961 1 422967
email: ministeroffice@justice.gov.lb
office.minister@yahoo.com

Copy to:

Mr. Robert Ghanem, Chairman of the Administration and Justice Committee, Lebanese Parliament
Fax: 00961 5 456365 - 00961 8 670221
00961 8 670210
Email: info@robertghanem.com

Mr. Jean Oghassapian
State Minister of Women Affairs 
Fax: 00961 1 982314
email: oghassabian@menapro.co

 Mr. Ayman Choukeir
State Minister of Human Rights
Fax: 00961 1 858555
email: Achouc@yahoo.com

Mr. Pierre Abi Assi
Minister of Social Affairs
Fax: 00961 1 429385
email: Jeanine.Mosa@gmail.com

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All letters: 
5000
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Lebanon: Don’t let rapists go free! Repeal Article 522 of the Penal Code
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Dear Prime Minister/Speaker/Minister

I welcome the parliamentary Administration and Justice Committee’s 7 December 2016 decision approving the repeal of Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code in order to stop rapists and kidnappers from going free by marrying their victims. I urge you to encourage the full Parliament to support the Committee’s decision and eliminate this discriminatory law as soon as possible. Please also stop the Committee and the Parliament from considering amendments to Article 505  to allow the rape exemption to remain  for 15-18 year old girls.

The full repeal of Article 522 would help end the re-victimization of rape and sexual assault survivors such as “Amal”, a 12-year-old girl who was raped by a 24-year-old man and then was pressured by his family to marry him so that he could escape punishment. She was traumatized by the rape and is now a potential victim of “child marriage.” Arab countries, such as Egypt and Morocco, have already ended impunity for rapists in the law, and others, including Bahrain, Jordan and Iraq, are discussing fully revoking such articles. Please ensure that Lebanon will do the same as soon as possible. This would also put Lebanon in compliance with its obligations under international law, including under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Child.

Thank you for your attention. I hope you will do everything in your power to protect survivors of sexual violence and to give them justice.

Sincerely,

Salsa Id: 
24209
Action Date: 
Friday, February 10, 2017
Action Status: 
Letters Sent (Auto): 
4874
All Letters Sent (Auto): 
5018

Amal* was just 12 years old when she was raped by a 24-year-old man in Lebanon. Our partners at the Lebanese Council to Resist Violence against Woman (LECORVAW) came to her aid, making sure that her rapist was arrested. Sadly, however, Amal did not get justice. The rapist and his family knew that by law – specifically Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code which was enacted to preserve “the honor and dignity of the victim’s family” – he could escape prosecution by marrying his victim, and so they pressured Amal’s family to force a marriage, including with offers of money. Though Amal’s parents didn’t accept the offer or the bribe, the criminal court freed the rapist on bail. And, because of the heavy stigma placed on rape survivors, Amal’s parents did not push further for a prosecution. Rather, believing that marriage is her only option, they engaged Amal to a relative.  Now Amal is not only a rape survivor, but is also under threat of “child marriage.” Sadly, this is a common situation for girls who are raped in Lebanon and in other parts of the world where such laws still exist.

There is hope, however, for Amal and the thousands of girls who are victims of these types of legal “rape exemptions.” On 7 December 2016, the Lebanese Parliamentary Administration and Justice Committee approved the repeal of Article 522 from the Penal Code. If Parliament votes yes, then perpetrators of rape, kidnapping or statutory rape would not be able to escape prosecution or other penalties by marrying their victims. Equality Now, LECORVAW and others greatly welcome this move, and we are advocating for the Lebanese Parliament to support and approve the Committee’s decision to revoke this discriminatory article once and for all. Some Arab countries, including Egypt in 1999 and Morocco in 2014, have already revoked rape exemption loopholes and others, including Bahrain, Jordan and Iraq, are discussing revoking such articles.

The vote could happen at any time. Please TAKE ACTION to stop rapists from going free!

Repealing Article 522 would help end the re-victimization of rape and sexual assault survivors and put Lebanon in compliance with its obligations under international law, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In November 2015, following our advocacy with partners, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) specifically recommended to Lebanon to ensure “that all allegations of assault and rape are duly investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned and that victims have access to appropriate redress, including compensation.”  

Please join us to help protect survivors of sexual violence and give them justice! Call on the Speaker of the House, Mr. Nabih Berri, and ask him to encourage the parliament to repeal Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code!  #JusticeforGirls

*not her real name

Letters:

Mr. Saad Al Hariri
Prime Minister
Fax: 00961 1 983022 till 00961 1 983030
00961 1983065
Email: sho@srhoffice.com

Mr Nabih Berri
Speaker of the House
Fax:00961 1 982059 and 00961 1 793088
Email: info@lp.gov.lb

Mr. Saleem Jraisati
Minister of Justice
Fax: 00961 1 422967
email: ministeroffice@justice.gov.lb
office.minister@yahoo.com

Copy to:

Mr. Robert Ghanem, Chairman of the Administration and Justice Committee, Lebanese Parliament
Fax: 00961 5 456365 - 00961 8 670221
00961 8 670210
Email: info@robertghanem.com

Mr. Jean Oghassapian
State Minister of Women Affairs 
Fax: 00961 1 982314
email: oghassabian@menapro.co

 Mr. Ayman Choukeir
State Minister of Human Rights
Fax: 00961 1 858555
email: Achouc@yahoo.com

Mr. Pierre Abi Assi
Minister of Social Affairs
Fax: 00961 1 429385
email: Jeanine.Mosa@gmail.com

Dear Prime Minister/Speaker/Minister

I welcome the parliamentary Administration and Justice Committee’s 7 December 2016 decision approving the repeal of Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code in order to stop rapists and kidnappers from going free by marrying their victims. I urge you to encourage the full Parliament to support the Committee’s decision and eliminate this discriminatory law as soon as possible. Please also stop the Committee and the Parliament from considering amendments to Article 505  to allow the rape exemption to remain  for 15-18 year old girls.

The full repeal of Article 522 would help end the re-victimization of rape and sexual assault survivors such as “Amal”, a 12-year-old girl who was raped by a 24-year-old man and then was pressured by his family to marry him so that he could escape punishment. She was traumatized by the rape and is now a potential victim of “child marriage.” Arab countries, such as Egypt and Morocco, have already ended impunity for rapists in the law, and others, including Bahrain, Jordan and Iraq, are discussing fully revoking such articles. Please ensure that Lebanon will do the same as soon as possible. This would also put Lebanon in compliance with its obligations under international law, including under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Child.

Thank you for your attention. I hope you will do everything in your power to protect survivors of sexual violence and to give them justice.

Sincerely,

TAKE ACTION

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