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HRW slams Afghan 'virginity tests' as sexual abuse

Virginity testing is a widely discredited practice in several conservative Islamic nationsHuman Rights Watch has slammed “virginity exams” conducted on Afghan women and girls accused of so-called moral crimes, saying the invasive tests by government doctors were tantamount to sexual assault. Women face growing levels of violence and harassment in Afghanistan more than 14 years after the Islamist Taliban regime was toppled from power by a 2001 US-led invasion. Of 53 women and girls as young as 13 accused of pre-marital sex — punishable by up to 15 years in jail — 48 were subjected to virginity exams, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission found in a recent study.

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