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Afghan woman, imprisoned over rape, is free

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET:

An Afghan woman who said she would marry her rapist in order to get out of jail, where she was serving a 12-year sentence for having sex out of wedlock, has been freed, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Kimberly Motley, the woman's American lawyer, told NBC News that she was released from prison late Tuesday.

"Gulnaz is relieved, and trying to slowly figure out her next step," Motley said of the woman, who goes by only one name.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai pardoned her last week after she said she would marry her rapist - her cousin's husband.

In an interview with NBC News last week, Gulnaz said she had agreed to the marriage "even though I can't look at him."

CNN reported Wednesday that Gulnaz was in a women's shelter in Kabul with her daughter Moskan, who was born in prison as the result of the rape.

Her plight was highlighted in a documentary blocked by the European Union because it feared the women profiled in it would be endangered by its release.

"This case represents the bigger picture for Afghan women," Motley told NBC Wednesday. "The justice system is trying to correct what went wrong in the first place. The bigger picture is not to prosecute rape victims, and that is a major step and progress in the Afghan justice system."

NBC News producer Kiko Itasaka and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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