Dozens of young Afghan women attacked for protesting marriage law

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April 16, 2009 03:30

 
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Dozens of young women braved crowds of bearded men screaming "dogs!" to protest an Afghan law that lets husbands demand sex from their wives. Some of the men picked up small stones and pelted the women. "Slaves of the Christians!" chanted the 800 or so counter-demonstrators, a mix of men and women. A line of female police officers locked hands to keep the groups apart. The warring protests Wednesday highlighted the explosive nature of the women's rights debate in Afghanistan. Both sides are girding for battle over the legislation, which has sparked an international uproar since being quietly signed into law last month. The law says a husband can demand sex with his wife every four days, unless she is ill or would be harmed by intercourse. It also regulates when and for what reasons a wife may leave her home without a male escort.

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