Law would ban relatives of the accused from testifying against them
The small change to a section of the criminal code Prohibition of Questioning an Individual as a Witness would also prevent doctors, children and defence lawyers from testifying in a case.
The bill has been passed by both houses of Parliament but is awaiting the signature of the conservative President Hamid Karzai, who by choosing to sign it will bring it into force. Campaigners are now calling on Karzai to refuse to sign the bill they assert will weaken “already inadequate” legal protections for women.
“President Karzai should reject a law that will effectively let batterers of women and girls off the hook,” Brad Adams, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch said in a statement.