The press release of the protection women and standardized forensic examination advocacy group in connection with the recent decision of the cabinet law committee based on amend Article 640 of the Afghan Penal Code
7 September 2020
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is obliged by the national laws and international human rights instruments to respect support and implement human rights in the country. Advocacy Group for Women Support and Standard Forensic Medicine Examination appreciated The Ministry of Higher Education of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Kabul Medical University for updating of the Criminalization of Virginity Examination and Forensic Medicine Curriculum and emphasizing that these steps are useful and effective in realizing human rights values, but the recent decisions of the Cabinet Law Committee in connection with the amendment of article 640 paragraph 2 of the Afghan Penal Code which was adopted on 12 September, 2020 are criticized which are as follows: any order for implementation of forensic medical examinations of hymen without the consent and court order is forbidden, the perpetrator will be condemned to short imprisonment sentence.
Therefore, the protection women and standardized forensic examination advocacy group which has more than 20 national and international organizations members known the amendment of article 640 paragraph 2 of the Afghan Penal Code as unacceptable and considers that the Cabinet Law Committee is somewhat does not believe in human rights values.
Virginity and anal examinations to prove crimes of public chastity and morality not only have no scientific basis, but are physically, psychologically and socially harmful to the examinees, and also cause serious violations of human rights, while it is leading judiciary to the country to astray. In addition, other examinations such as sperm examination without DNA analysis to prove moral crimes and examinations to determine the criminal responsibility of children are among the unscientific and discriminatory examinations that ease human rights violations in the country.
The above-mentioned institutions believe that hymen examination conduction with the court permission and women consent is considered a permitted violation of human rights in the country and paves the way for violence and discrimination against women; torture and invasion of women’s privacy. Therefore, in order to realize human rights values, we emphasize the responsibilities of the Government of Afghanistan and express the following demands:
- Examination of virginity to prove crimes of adultery and determining the sexual status of women should be strictly and unconditionally prohibited, and instead police, prosecutors and experts should use scientific and standard ways mentioned in article 19 of the Law of Criminal execution.
- Gynecological examinations should be allowed only in proving rape along with complete physical and psychological examinations of women with the consent and court order. This examination should be performed in the light of the Gender-Based Violence Protocol and the Istanbul Protocol and other scientific and medical protocols.
- Women, who have been convicted based on these examinations’ results, should have their cases reviewed. Also, if there are no other reasons and evidence other than the results of these examinations, they should be released from prison and be reinstated and compensated.
- Anal examination to prove sodomy, examination of sperm without DNA machine and determining examination for criminal responsibility of children should be criminalized and severe penalties should be imposed on the perpetrators of these examinations. In this case, the guidelines mentioned in the updated book of forensic medicine should be used.
- The Ministry of Higher Education of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan should most emphasize on implementation of forensic updates in public and private universities of the country and assure of their implementation to the people of Afghanistan.
Protection Women and Standardized Forensic Examination Advocacy Group