A member of Scottish Parliament, Natalie Don, has proposed a posthumous pardon for women who were accused and convicted of witchcraft under a 1563 law. Many of the women deemed “witches” were executed and tortured as a result.

The Witchcraft Act was in place for nearly 200 years until 1736. Don said that at least 2,500 women were executed due to the law, and her proposal seeks to ensure these women are “recognized as victims of a miscarriage of justice and are no longer recorded in history as criminals.”

Interest in pardoning these victims rose in the past months, with the First Minister of Scotland Natalie Sturgeon issuing a formal apology this past March. “At a time when women were not even allowed to speak as witnesses in a courtroom, they were accused and killed because they were poor, different, vulnerable or in many cases just because they were women,” Sturgeon said.

Sturgeon’s statement was the first official recognition of these executions in the history of the nation’s government. As many as 12,500 women were killed around the continent of Europe, and witch-killings also occurred in places in America like Salem, Massachusetts.

Read more about: