February 16, 2014
The Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper
The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Manitoba Members of Parliament
Members of the International Institute for Women’s Rights, Manitoba Chapter (the IIWR-MB)
A Call to Denounce Afghan Parliament Passing Law Silencing Women Subjected to Violence and Urge President Hamid Karzai Not to Sign On
We are writing this letter to you as a women’s and human rights organization located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which is focused on these issues both locally and internationally.
Recently, the Afghan Parliament passed a new law under the country’s criminal prosecution code which prohibits the relatives of an accused person from testifying against them. Given that the rampant violence taking place against women in Afghanistan is often at the hands of those in the victim’s family, this new law effectively silences victims and denies them an avenue to prosecute their abusers. The bill is currently with President Hamid Karzai, who is responsible to sign this new law into force.