REPORT: Lebanese Parliament agrees to repeal rape law

MP Robert Ghanem declared on Wednesday that the Parliament’s Administration and Justice Committee has unanimously agreed to repeal a controversial article of the Lebanese penal code that protects rapists.

The Committee has unanimously decided that it does not “accept article 522, as marriage cannot disregard such crimes,” MP Ghanem said.

He also noted that the committee will discuss other details related to the rest of articles next Wednesday.

Article 522 stipulates that “If a legal marriage is held between the person who committed any of the crimes mentioned in this chapter, including rape, and the victim of such crimes, prosecution will be halted; and if a verdict in the case was issued, the punishment will be suspended.”

The article adds that this will be reversed if the culprit faces any offense charges within three years of the marriage, felony charges within five years if the couple gets divorced without a legitimate reason.

The law is valid to cases of rape, kidnapping, indecency, seduction and the violation of the sanctity of women’s spaces.

NGOs and women rights organizations have been launching campaigns to press Lebanese MPs to abolish the article.

Later on Wednesday, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri hailed the ​parliament’s decision in a tweet.