Photograph by Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images.
An Afghan woman was released from prison on Wednesday after being pardoned by President Hamid Karzai. She faced 12 years in prison for adultery after being raped by her cousin’s husband two years ago. She was 19. The rape led to her pregnancy and the birth of a daughter while behind bars.
CNN reports the rape victim, known as Gulnaz for her protection, was released without precondition, and checked into a women’s shelter in Kabul. Women in her situation are often killed for bringing shame upon their family and community. Her plight garnered international attention when it was thought she would have to marry her rapist to restore honor to her family, legitimize her daughter, and end her incarceration.
Her lawyer, U.S. attorney Kimberly Motley, told BBC, "She is now free to lead a normal life without the threat of further legal action.” Motley continued, adding, “I hope this historic case will set a legal precedent for other persecuted women in Afghanistan.”