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Stand with Afghan Women

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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Sold into marriage at 12, Sahar Gul lived in a torture chamber. Her in-laws chained her in the basement, beat her with red hot iron pipes, and pulled out her fingernails when she refused to be forced into prostitution. Her stomach-turning story is tragically common in Afghanistan, but now a few courageous activists are fighting back and they need our help.

A new bill is being quietly snuck through Afghan Parliament that would make it almost impossible to prosecute crimes like marital rape, and spousal and child abuses. It bans relatives from testifying against their family, when they are often the only witnesses to the disgusting acts. If it passes it’ll make an incredibly difficult situation for women even worse.

A leading member of the National Assembly and inspirational women’s rights activist has told Avaaz that a global outcry would help supportive politicians stop the bill in its tracks. Let’s ramp up the pressure by building a 1 million-strong petition ahead of the crucial vote in the upper house -- then we will launch a massive radio and TV campaign targeting key senators until the bill is dumped. Click now to join and tell everyone:

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