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Raped woman given choice to spend 12 yrs in jail or marry her attacker

Lack of adequate laws to protect the integrity of women in Afghanistan is once again been questioned after it emerged that a woman, who was raped by her cousin's husband and was jailed on charges of adultery, has been given an option to marry the man who attacked her honour and start a new life with him

Gulnaz was just 19-year old when she was convicted by a court for adultery and was sentenced to serve 12-years in prison, even though she tried to prevent the attack.

Now she is in Kabul's Badam Bagh Jail, serving out her sentence with her rapist's child.

Even two years later, Gulnaz remembers the smell and state of her rapist's clothes when he came into the house when her mother left for a brief visit to the hospital.

"He had filthy clothes on as he does metal and construction work. He closed doors and windows. I started screaming, but he shut me up by putting his hands on my mouth," she told CNN in an exclusive interview.

After the attack, she hid what happened as long as she could. But soon she began showing signs of morning sickness. After the incident was disclosed, Gulnaz was prosecuted, instead of being sympathized.

She was given the option that most women would consider nothing less than repulsive, starting a new life with the man who attacked her, the Daily Mail reports.

Surprisingly it something Gulnaz is willing to do, as she believes this second chance would help restore her honour and legitimize her infant daughter in the eyes of Afghanistan's conservative society.

"I was asked if I wanted to start a new life by getting released, by marrying this man," she said.

"My daughter is a little innocent child. Who knew I would have a child in this way. A lot of people told me that after your daughter's born give it to someone else, but my aunt told me to keep her as proof of my innocence," she added.

Gulnaz's choice is stark. Women in her situation are mostly killed for the shame their ordeal brings to the community.

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