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Demands to change PA law allowing rapists to marry victims
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Demands to change PA law allowing rapists
 to marry victims
  • On International Women's Day, call by Women MPs from Arab Countries to Mahmoud Abbas to repeal law which enables rapists to avoid punishment by agreeing to marry the rape victim - because the law "turns the woman into a victim twice"
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Palestinian Authority law enables a rapist to marry his victim instead of receiving punishment, according to clause 308 of the Jordanian Penal Code, which is still used by the PA, although it has already been repealed  in Jordan. 

On occasion of International Women's Day, which falls today, the Coalition of Women MPs from Arab Countries to Combat Violence Against Women has expressed hope that PA Chairman Abbas will approve an amendment of the law and repeal the clause, which "turns the woman into a victim twice":

"Secretary of the Women MPs from Arab Countries Sahr Qawasmi said... that the coalition... hopes that clause 308, which allows a rapist to marry the woman who is raped, will be repealed. She expressed hope that [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] will approve [amending] this law on March 8 [2018], because this clause means that the man who rapes evades punishment, and because it turns the woman into a victim twice."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 5, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch has previously reported that Palestinian women's rights groups for years have demanded changes in PA laws that enable rapists and murderers of women to receive reduced sentences.

Click to read more about
women's status in Palestinian society.

The following is a longer excerpt of the report on the law:
Headline: "Workshop participants demand that clause 308 of the Penal Code be repealed"
"Participants in a discussion for March 8 (i.e., International Women's Day) demanded that clause 308 of the Penal Code be repealed. The discussion was held yesterday [March 4, 2018] in Ramallah under the title No to Granting Legitimacy and Legal Recognition to Crime, at the initiative of the Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling and the Coalition of Women Members of Parliament from Arab Countries to Combat Violence Against Women...
Secretary of the Women MPs from Arab Countries Sahr Qawasmi said... that the coalition... hopes that clause 308, which allows a rapist to marry the woman who is raped, will be repealed. She expressed hope that [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] will approve [amending] this law on March 8 [2018], because this clause means that the man who rapes evades punishment, and because it turns the woman into a victim twice.
Qawasmi emphasized that it is necessary to work for the necessary equality between women and men... and to repeal clause 308 of the Jordanian Penal Code, which is in use in Palestine, especially since it has been repealed in Jordan...
[PA] Judge Ahmed Al-Ashqar... noted that this clause has been repealed in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, [and] Jordan."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 5, 2018]