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Raped Afghan woman jailed for adultery freed 'unconditionally'

December 15, 2011 - Kabul

An Afghan woman, who was jailed for adultery after being raped by her husband's cousin, has been released from prison, her lawyer has said.

Gulnaz was released on the orders of President Hamid Karzai, who had pardoned her earlier this month.

Her lawyer, Kimberley Motley, said Gulnaz was released without any preconditions, dispelling fears that she may have to marry her attacker.

"She is now free to lead a normal life without the threat of further legal action. I hope this historic case will set a legal precedent for other persecuted women in Afghanistan," the BBC quoted Motley, as saying.I would like to pay tribute to President Karzai and the Afghan justice ministry for taking the measures required to win her freedom," she added.

Motley said that Gulnaz is now staying at an undisclosed location in Kabul with her child after being released overnight on Tuesday "for her own safety away from the blaze of publicity".

Gulnaz was earlier sentenced to serve12 years in prison after being charged with adultery. Initially she was sentenced to two years in jail, but when she appealed, the prison term was enhanced to 12 years.

Her attacker was initially jailed for 12 years, but the sentence was later reduced on appeal to seven. He remains in jail.


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