Canadian MPs outraged over Afghan rape lawApril 2nd, 2009 - 1:06 pm ICT by ANI
Ottawa (Canada), Apr.2 (ANI): Several Canadian lawmakers and the general public have expressed growing outrage over a controversial legislation in Afghanistan that would restrict the rights of minority Shia women and make it illegal for them to refuse sex to their husbands. The proposed law would also make it illegal for a Shia woman to leave her house without her husband’s permission.
The proposed Shia family law has cast a shadow over an international conference in Europe on Afghanistan’s future.
According to the Globe and Mail, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay said he would use this week’s NATO summit to put “direct” pressure on his Afghan counterpart to abandon the legislation.
“That’s unacceptable - period. We’re fighting for values that include equality and women’s rights. This sort of legislation won’t fly,” the paper quoted him, as saying.
Critics say Afghan President Hamid Karzai approved the law in advance of his country’s elections in the hope of winning critical swing votes from conservative Shia men.
Canadian officials have contacted Karzai’s office and also raised their concerns with senior Afghan cabinet ministers. They say it’s not yet clear what’s in the law, but they’re trying to find out.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly upbraided Karzai over the proposed law during this week’s 80-country Afghanistan summit in The Hague.
Several Conservative cabinet ministers have denounced the measures, as have spokesmen for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said he’s outraged by the legislation and Canada must make it clear to Mr. Karzai that it’s unacceptable.
International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda said she was in “disbelief” when she first heard about the legislation. She noted that the equality of the sexes is a key Canadian objective in Afghanistan.
“We’ve invested a lot, we’ve put a lot of energy and resources into that,” Oda said.
“It’s very problematic. It’s of great concern, and it is going to be a difficulty for Canada - because of our investment and our commitment to human rights, the rule of law, and equality. . . the steps we’re taking, the investment we’re making, and the work we’re doing,” she concluded. (ANI)
- Canada to pull civilian staff from Kandahar, base training mission in Kabul - Nov 17, 2010
- Stephen Harper Government in Canada falls after no-confidence vote - Mar 26, 2011
- Canada goes to polls May 2, House dissolved (Second Lead, Changing dateline) - Mar 26, 2011
- Canadian government toppled, country headed for fresh polls (Lead) - Mar 26, 2011
- Canada says that it will expand aid to Pakistan - Aug 13, 2009
- Britain, Afghanistan sign partnership agreement - Jan 29, 2012
- Canada delivers on G-8 development commitments - Jun 24, 2010
- Canadian troops could remain in Afghanistan beyond 2011: Defence Minister - Nov 08, 2010
- Resume NATO supplies, Karzai tells Pakistan - Feb 17, 2012
- Obama proposal for entry fee on Canadians creates uproar - Feb 18, 2011
- Khar to visit Afghanistan Wednesday - Jan 31, 2012
- NATO won't pay $5,000 per truck to Pakistan: Panetta - May 20, 2012
- Liberal Party leader says Sikhs have right to carry kirpan in Canada - Jan 21, 2011
- Ruling party set for comfortable majority in Canadian polls - May 03, 2011
- India, Russia, Iran explore anti-Taliban strategy - Aug 03, 2010
Tags: bev oda, cabinet ministers, canadian defence minister, canadian lawmakers, canadian mps, canadian officials, controversial legislation, equality of the sexes, globe and mail, hamid karzai, hillary clinton, international co, liberal leader, michael ignatieff, nato summit, ottawa canada, peter mackay, prime minister stephen harper, stephen harper, swing votes