2 Dec 2011

Afghan rape victim pardoned, agrees to marry attacker

1:38 pm on 2 December 2011

The President of Afghanistan has pardoned a woman who was jailed for adultery after being raped by a male relative.

Afghan officials say the woman, named as Gulnaz, had agreed to marry her attacker, but that was not a condition of her release.

Thousands of people had signed a petition calling for Gulnaz to be set free.

Her lawyer told the BBC her client always said before that given a choice she would not marry the man who raped her.

Glunaz, who is now 21, gave birth in prison to a daughter who was kept in jail with her.

She was initially sentenced to two years in jail but when she appealed her sentence was increased to 12 years.

The most recent appeal reduced it again to three years.

Human rights groups say hundreds of women in Afghan jails are victims of rape or domestic violence.