Lebanese female activists dressed as brides have taken to the streets of the capital Beirut to protest against a law that allows rapists to avoid prosecution if they marry their victims. The activists,who wore bandages and white wedding dresses stained with fake blood, gathered outside government buildings.
The parliament is currently reviewing the law, which has been in place since the 1940s.
Article 522 of the Lebanese penal code states: In the event a legal marriage is concluded between the person who committed [crimes including rape, kidnapping and statutory rape] and the victim, prosecution shall be stopped and in case a decision is rendered, the execution of such decision shall be suspended against the person who was subject to it.
Some lawmakers proposed on Wednesday (6 December) to amend the piece of legislation, leaving the marriage option as a choice for families.
Critics of the law argue it further punishes rape survivors.
Ghida Anani, head local NGO Abaad, which is campaigning against article 522, said the law makes rape survivors daily victim as they would have to share their life with the person who abused them, AP reported.
A protester, who said she was sexually harassed by a male nurse several years before as she was in a hospital bed recovering from a life-threatening injury, said: If they dont put themselves in our shoes and feel what we feel, nothing will change. Imagine if he had raped me? If my children ask how did I meet their father, what do I say? I married the person who raped me!
Supporters of the law claims the marriage would preserve the honour of women and girls and their families.
Attempts to amend the law were already made in 2012, following several protests in the country.