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AKP bill to pardon child rapists who marry their victims

Turks are furious over a proposed law that would commute the sentences of men who have sex with minors if they end up marrying the girls, but Turkey’s ruling party has the simple majority it needs to push the law, which it claims is intended to address legal issues surrounding child marriage, through parliament.
Demonstrators hold a banner reading ''Enough, we don't want child brides'' to protest against child marriage in front of the Family and Social Policies Ministry in Ankara, on February 10, 2014. According to the Turkish Ministry of Interior, in the last three years nearly 135,000 persons below 18 years of age were married in the country, with 20 times more girls than boys. Last year alone the number of under-16 girls whose families applied to the courts to marry them reached 20,000.  AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN

Defying a nationwide outcry, Turkey’s ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) appears bent on ramming a bill through parliament that would pardon child rapists if a perpetrator marries his victim. AKP parliamentary whip Mustafa Elitas refused to withdraw the measure, which is likely to be approved in a second round of voting on Nov. 22. Scrapping the bill “is out of the question,” he said.

A simple majority, which the AKP commands, will suffice for its adoption.

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