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HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN: Jordan votes to abolish law allowing rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims

10 Aug 2017
[International Secretariat]
Region: HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN
Topic: Women's Rights

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s lower house of parliament voted on Monday 1 August to abolish Article 308 of the penal code, which allowed perpetrators of sexual violence to escape punishment by marrying their victim.

“The vote to abolish this repugnant law is a long overdue step in the right direction for the Kingdom of Jordan. We now urge the parliament’s upper house and King Abdullah II to immediately approve the vote and confirm the country’s commitment to gender equality.

“While this offers a much-needed glimmer of hope for women’s rights in the region, there is still a long way to go. Other countries must immediately follow suit and abolish these absurd laws. The Lebanese government will soon be voting to abolish its own version of the law, article 522. We urge Lebanese lawmakers to make the right choice.”

Background

Article 308 stated that charges of rape could be dropped if a valid marriage contract between the rapist and his victim was presented and the marriage had lasted at least three years.

The vote came after intense campaigning by Jordanian women’s rights activists and civil society.

On Sunday July 20 2017, Women's rights activists in the Kingdom of Jordan also celebrated the amendment of Article 98 which no longer grants leniency to perpetrators of "honor crimes" due to “mitigating circumstances”.

1 August 2017
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL QUOTE

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