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Stop the Anti-Women Gag Rule

To the Members of the Upper House of the Afghan National Assembly and the Chair of the Legislative Committee, Malawi Ghulam Muhiuddin Monsef:

As concerned citizens, we are shocked by the proposed changes in the criminal procedure code that would stop relatives of accused persons from appearing as witnesses. Not only would this dangerous amendment allow tormentors of women and children to go free, but it would set an alarming precedent in the battle to improve women’s rights and the rule of law in Afghanistan. We urge you to vote against this amendment and do everything in your power to keep it from becoming law.

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Recent signers

Stop the Anti-Women Gag Rule

Sold into marriage at 12, Sahar Gul lived in a house of horrors. Her in-laws chained her in the basement, beat her with red hot iron pipes, starved her and pulled out all her fingernails when she refused to prostitute herself for them.

Her attackers’ sentence was reduced to a meager one year, and now they’re free again! Worse still, the Lower House of Afghan Parliament just passed a bill that would ban aggressors’ family members from testifying in court. This would prevent countless children and women from ever getting justice.

The Upper House has beaten back anti-women legislation before and high-level officials say the Avaaz community could tip the balance and help stop the bill before it goes to a vote. But to do that, we need to act fast. Sign this urgent petition now -- when we reach 1 million signers we’ll launch a massive local media campaign targeting key senators until the bill is dumped.

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