Protest Against Rape-Marriage Law in Morocco
On Sunday, human rights activists organized a demonstration in front of the parliament in the Moroccan capital city of Rabat to demand the repeal of a law on sexual violence. The protest was a response to the suicide of a 16 year old girl, Amina Filali, after being forced to marry her rapist. In Morocco, Article 475 of the penal code allows for the “kidnapper” of a minor to marry his victim to escape prosecution. Moroccan women’s rights groups say the law is used to “preserve the honor of the woman’s family.” The President of the Democratic League for Women’s Rights, Fouzia Assouli, said, regarding the Article 475, “what we have witnessed is scandalous. We have had enough. We must change this law, we must change the penal code.” Amina’s parents who attended the demonstrations, blamed villagers for adding pressure on their daughter that led to her suicide. Amina’s mother said, “there was a lot of talking in the village and in the end, my daughter died. They killed her. Shame on them. She took poison.” Amina’s husband, Mustapha Fellak, in response to the parents’ accusatory stand, said, “As far as rape is concerned, it is not true. Her mother says that I used a knife to abduct her. It is simply a lie.” The debate on Article 475 crossed over Moroccan borders. On Wednesday it was discussed (French) at the European Parliament as an issue interfering with human rights.