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Nov 22, 2016

Turkey scraps child rape bill

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has withdrawn a bill that would pardon men convicted of sex with underage girls if they marry their victims.

The government acted just before the controversial legislation went to a final vote in parliament, which is dominated by the ruling AK Party.

The bill sparked protests and was met with international condemnation.
Critics said it would legitimise statutory rape and encourage the practice of taking child brides.

UN agencies had called on the government not to approve the bill, arguing that it would damage the country's ability to combat sexual abuse and child marriage.

The bill would have allowed the release from jail of men found guilty of sexual assault against an underage girl if no force were used and the perpetrator married the victim.

Turkey's legal age of consent is 18 but underage marriage remains widespread.

(BBC News)

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