Sunday, December 4, 2011
my life of crime
An Afghan rape victim who was jailed for adultery does not have to marry her attacker to be freed, her lawyer has told the BBC.
Lawyer Kimberly Motley says this was clarified personally to her by President Hamid Karzai's office.
Mr Karzai pardoned the woman, named as Gulnaz, earlier this week, but some reports had said this was on condition that she married her attacker.
Gulnaz gave birth in jail to a daughter who has been kept with her.
On Friday, Ms Kimberly said that 21-year-old Gulnaz would be released with no pre-conditions and would then be free to marry whomever she chooses.
"She doesn't have plans for the future, she just wants to get out of prison," the lawyer said.
The case has drawn international attention to the plight of many Afghan women 10 years after the overthrow of the Taliban.
Human rights groups say hundreds of women in Afghan jails are victims of rape or domestic violence.
Gulnaz earlier said that after she was raped in 2009 she was charged with adultery.
"At first my sentence was two years," she said. "When I appealed it became 12 years. I didn't do anything. Why should I be sentenced for so long?"
The most recent appeal saw her sentence reduced to three years before the presidential pardoning. (read more)