Lebanon to scrap law pardoning rapists who marry victims

Beirut-based rights group ABAAD protest the law (ABAAD/Facebook)
Beirut-based rights group ABAAD protest the law (ABAAD/Facebook)

A Lebanese law allowing rapists to avoid punishment by marrying their victims is one step closer to being overturned.

The law states that if a rapist legally marries the victim, "prosecution shall be stopped".

After a review on Tuesday, the parliamentary committee agreed to push forward with a plan to end the law.

The move came one day after protesters gathered outside Parliament in the capital Beirut, wearing blood-stained wedding gowns and bandages.

Beirut-based rights group ABAAD lead the protest and on Facebook said 73 percent of the population thought the current law "put pressure on victims to marry their attackers", to avoid dishonouring their family. In Lebanon, rape is often perceived as a mark against a woman's honour.

ABAAD went on to celebrate the step forward, congratulating "the women and girls of all Lebanese territory".

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri also Tweeted his support, saying he applauded the abolition of Justice Article 522 which "exempts a rapist".