CHP leader slams controversial bill concerning rapists marrying child victims

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Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu

Leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has harshly criticized a government-sponsored bill seeking to free more than 4,000 inmates convicted of rape because they had married their victims, saying that the introduction of such a law would be against values of humanity.

A bill was brought to Parliament late Thursday night by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies which paves the way for freeing more than 4,000 inmates convicted of rape. The move has attracted widespread criticism from women’s groups and opposition parties.

According to the bill, in cases of sexual abuse of minors committed before Nov. 16 “without force or threat,” if the perpetrator has married his victim, the sentence will be suspended or the prosecution of the offense will be halted.

Speaking to representatives from nongovernmental organizations in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “Don’t you have any conscience or morals? A  five to 10-year old girl is raped; the rapist will be pardoned if he marries the girl. If five men rape a girl and one of them marries her, all of them will be acquitted [of rape charges]. Look at this [understanding of] morality. Can there be such an understanding of morality? This does not fit in values of humanity.”

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