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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 Nabih Berri
Speaker of the House
Fax: +961 1 982059/+961 1 793088
Email: info@lp.gov.lb

Copy to:

Ms. Claudine Aoun Roukoz – Head of the National Commission for Lebanese Women
Fax: +961 5 955103
Email: info@nclw.org.lb

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

Country: 
All letters: 
6000
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Lebanon: Don’t let rapists & sexual harassers go free!
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Dear Speaker of the House:

I welcome the repeal of Article 522 to end exemptions for rapists and kidnappers who marry their victims. However, I encourage the full Parliament to also support amendments to Article 505 to no longer allow marriages of 15 through 17 year olds. Instead they should punish those who have sex with these girls without any exceptions for subsequent marriage. In addition, if amended Article 519 would no longer consider a minor’s “consent” in cases of sexual harassment. These amendments were proposed on 2 November 2017 by Parliamentary members in consultation with the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW).  

The 2 November proposal also calls for the full repeal of Article 518, which currently allows a prosecution to be stopped or a sentence to be suspended for perpetrators who “seduce” a virgin girl with the promise of marriage and do in fact marry her.  This would also help end the re-victimization of rape and sexual assault survivors. Arab countries, such as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, have already ended all impunity for rapists in the law, and others, including Bahrain and Iraq, are discussing fully revoking such articles. Please ensure that Lebanon will do the same as soon as possible. This would 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: 
Monday, November 13, 2017
Action Status: 
Letters Sent (Auto): 
5606
All Letters Sent (Auto): 
5768

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 Nabih Berri
Speaker of the House
Fax: +961 1 982059/+961 1 793088
Email: info@lp.gov.lb

Copy to:

Ms. Claudine Aoun Roukoz – Head of the National Commission for Lebanese Women
Fax: +961 5 955103
Email: info@nclw.org.lb

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 Speaker of the House:

I welcome the repeal of Article 522 to end exemptions for rapists and kidnappers who marry their victims. However, I encourage the full Parliament to also support amendments to Article 505 to no longer allow marriages of 15 through 17 year olds. Instead they should punish those who have sex with these girls without any exceptions for subsequent marriage. In addition, if amended Article 519 would no longer consider a minor’s “consent” in cases of sexual harassment. These amendments were proposed on 2 November 2017 by Parliamentary members in consultation with the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW).  

The 2 November proposal also calls for the full repeal of Article 518, which currently allows a prosecution to be stopped or a sentence to be suspended for perpetrators who “seduce” a virgin girl with the promise of marriage and do in fact marry her.  This would also help end the re-victimization of rape and sexual assault survivors. Arab countries, such as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, have already ended all impunity for rapists in the law, and others, including Bahrain and Iraq, are discussing fully revoking such articles. Please ensure that Lebanon will do the same as soon as possible. This would 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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