The international appeal calling for the abrogation of the new shi’ite personal status law in Afghanistan will be formally delivered to the Embassy of Afghanistan in Belgium on Thursday 30 April 2009

29 Apr, 2009 | Press Releases

Following the adoption of a new Shi’ite Personal Status law in Afghanistan, which triggered resounding condemnation both within and outside Afghanistan for its provisions legalizing a variety of forms of discrimination against women, including marital rape, No Peace Without Justice and the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party launched an international Appeal calling on the Afghan authorities to repeal this law.

The Appeal, which was signed by more than 1000 parliamentarians, representatives of government and international organisations, civil society activists and citizens of 37 countries, will be formally delivered by a delegation of its sponsors to the Embassy of Afghanistan in Belgium, on Thursday 30 April 2009 at 9.30 am.

The delegation will be composed of Emma Bonino, Vice-President of the Italian Senate, Niccolò Figa-Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice, Nathalie Gilson, Member of the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region, and Catherine Absalom, representative of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Despite assurances by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the law will be revised, now is not the time for complacency. Afghan women demonstrating in Kabul against the new bill were brutally attacked and regional parliamentarian Sitara Achikzai was recently assassinated, joining the growing list of activists fighting for the emancipation of women in Afghanistan who have been victimized: these developments are anything but reassuring. The international community must maintain its vigilance and make clear to Afghan authorities that the human rights of Afghan women will not be sacrificed for the sake of diplomatic appeasement.

Press Contact: Nicola Giovannini, phone: 02 548 39 14 / 0486 78 31 93 – email: For further information visit the website:

Address of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Belgium: 61, avenue de Wolvendael, B-1180 Brussels (Uccle).