Link to Full BBC Article:
15 March 2012 - Moroccan activists have stepped up pressure to scrap laws that allow rapists to marry their victims - after a 16-year-old girl killed herself. Amina Filali swallowed rat poison after being severely beaten during a forced marriage to her rapist. An online petition has been started - and protests are planned against a law branded by campaigners as an "embarrassment".The penal code allows the "kidnapper" of a minor to marry her to escape jail........
MOROCCO - SUICIDE OF GIRL REPORTEDLY WED TO RAPIST SPURS OUTRAGE
March 14, 2012 - The suicide of a Moroccan teenager who reportedly had been forced to marry her rapist has spurred calls from around the world to change criminal laws long lamented by Moroccan feminists.
Human rights groups complain that Moroccan law has been interpreted to allow someone who rapes a minor to escape punishment if he marries the victim. Moroccan media reported that was what happened to Amina Filali, a 16-year-old who reportedly swallowed rat poison Saturday.
"It is unfortunately a recurring phenomenon," Fouzia Assouli, the president of the Democratic League for Women's Rights, told the Associated Press. "We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code, which allows the rapist to escape justice.Ē
The Moroccan government has argued that the law applies only if the victim agrees to marry, but activists say young women can be pressured into marriage to protect family honor. Her father told a Moroccan news website that the courts had pushed the idea, the Associated Press reported.
Activists took to Twitter to spread news of the reported suicide using the hashtag #RIPAmina. "The tragedy of Amina is a disgrace to humanity," Emirati political commentator Mishaal Al Gergawi wrote.
The 16-year-old was not legally old
enough to marry:
Moroccan women are seen as better protected than other
The new Moroccan Constitution sets up the principle of
equality between men and women in all spheres. Compared with other countries in
the Arab region,
Yet Moroccan women still face laws that are lenient toward husbands who harm their wives, unequal inheritances and other inequities, according to reports from human rights groups. Nearly two-thirds of Moroccan women are subjected to violence in their lifetimes, according to a survey last year.