Turkish ruling party withdraws controversial sexual abuse bill

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced on Tuesday that his ruling party has withdrawn a controversial bill on the sexual abuse of minors, private broadcaster CNN Turk reported.

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The bill proposed to allow pardons for some men who assaulted underage girls if they marry the victims.

As a part of a 49-article draft amending the code of criminal procedure, the bill was issued in the parliament at a night session on Nov. 17 and received a majority of votes from lawmakers present at the session.

The controversial draft drew harsh criticism from opposition parties, societies, NGOs and social media, which believe it will legitimize child rape and enforce underage marriages.

The opposition parties, including the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), slammed the bill of having the “characteristics of an amnesty.”

The Turkish government argues that the motion aims to deal with issues caused by the all-too-common custom of child marriage in Turkey.

The debate and final vote on the motion again in parliament are scheduled for Tuesday.

The United Nations also issued a statement expressing concern about the bill on Monday, noting that the legal framework should strengthen the child’s rights and protect children against all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation, including child marriage. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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