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UN Faults Enforcement Of Afghan Law To Protect Women

Afghan women listen to a speech by Afghan President Hamid Karzai during an event marking International Literacy Day in Kabul on September 28, 2010.
A new United Nations report says the government of Afghanistan has "not yet succeeded" in implementing a two-year-old law intended to protect women from abuse, including rape, forced marriage, and the trading of women to settle disputes.

The report says the law is enforced by authorities in only a small percentage of cases.

It says that between March 2010 and March 2011, prosecutors opened 594 investigations involving crimes under the Law On The Elimination Of Violence Against Women. The report says this was only 26 percent of 2,299 incidents of alleged abuse registered by the Afghan human rights commission.

The report says prosecutors went on to file indictments in just 155 cases, or 7 percent of the total number of crimes reported.

The report adds that in some cases, complainants were pressured to withdraw their allegations or to settle for mediation by traditional councils.

It says that sometimes prosecutors didn't proceed with mandatory investigations for violent acts and, in other cases, police ignored complaints.

compiled from agency reports

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