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Gulnaz, a woman jailed for adultery after the relative who raped her was freed, has been pardoned and released.
Gulnaz, the Afghanistan woman jailed because she was raped by her relative, has been freed, BBC News reported. She is identified by her first name only for her protection, and is staying in an undisclosed location in Kabul with her daughter, the child of her rapist.
Habibullah Ghaleb, Afghanistan's justice minister, and a judiciary committee both proposed a pardon, after which President Hamid Karzai ordered Gulnaz's release, CNN reported. There was originally the possibility of her having to marry her attacker, and though she is under considerable pressure from conservative Afghanistan society to do so, she has now been released without precondition, BBC News reported.
"She is now free to lead a normal life without the threat of further legal action," her lawyer, Kimberley Motley, told the BBC. "I hope this historic case will set a legal precedent for other persecuted women in Afghanistan."
Gulnaz was charged with adultery in 2009, after she was raped by a relative. Her initial sentence was two years, but when she appealed it became 12 years, BBC News reported.
She boldly spoke out about her ordeal in a documentary about women's rights in the region, but the European Union blocked it from being shown, saying it would endanger her safety, CNN reported.
Gulnaz was one of hundreds of women in Afghanistan who are jailed for rape or other moral crimes known as "zina". In parts of Afghanistan, women who have been victims of rape or sexual abuse are killed by their brothers, fathers or husbands to restore the honor of the family, a UN study reported. Men who kill their wives or close relatives for committing adultery are exempted from punishment.