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Reports: Afghan Rape Victim Freed, Unclear If She Must Marry Attacker

Burqa-clad Afghan women wait to buy chickpeas from a shop in Kabul earlier this year. i i

hide captionBurqa-clad Afghan women wait to buy chickpeas from a shop in Kabul earlier this year.

Shah Marai /AFP/Getty Images
Burqa-clad Afghan women wait to buy chickpeas from a shop in Kabul earlier this year.

Burqa-clad Afghan women wait to buy chickpeas from a shop in Kabul earlier this year.

Shah Marai /AFP/Getty Images

Gulnaz, the young Afghan woman whose story has spread around the world because she was imprisoned after being raped by a relative, is now free, CNN and the BBC are reporting.

As we reported earlier this month, President Hamid Karzai intervened to pardon Gulnaz — who in the eyes of authorities had committed adultery and was about 2 1/2 years into a 12-year prison sentence. But whether she would still be forced or pressured into marrying her attacker (one of her cousins) was unclear. There were reports that it was a condition of her release, though Karzai did not say that in his pardon.

Since the Dec. 1 pardon, Gulnaz had apparently remained in prison. Today, her lawyer told the BBC and CNN, she left the jail.

CNN says she is now "at a women's shelter in Kabul, with her [about 2-year-old] daughter." The BBC reports "it is not clear" whether she still may have to marry the rapist.

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