Moroccan teenager commits Suicide after being forced to marry her rapist

By Iqbal Tamimi

A Moroccan NGO told AFP, that a sixteen-year-old has committed suicide after she was forced to marry the man who raped her.  According to interpretation of the Moroccan Penal Code, marrying the victim helps the rapist escape the prison punishment. 

The chairwoman of the Democratic League for Moroccan Women’s Rights, Fawzia Asoli, said that “Ameena Filali, the raped young woman, has committed suicide by drinking rat’s poison last week in Alaarash nearby the town of Tangier, as a protest against her marriage by force to the man who raped her.”

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According to an article in the Moroccan Penal Code, rapists escape prosecution if they marry their victims. Asoli said that this article states that “the rapist escape imprisonment if he marries his victim.” and explained that “Article 475 of the Penal Code that is supposed to refrain from rape as a crime reflects contradictions. She said this article defends “social norms, but it does not take into account the woman’s right as an individual.” 

 Fawzia Asoli said there will be a sit-in held Thursday before the court in Alaarash where the marriage decision was issued following a reconciliation procedure that took place between the two families six months ago.

Asoli said that the NGO addressed this issue by writing a letter to the Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane. 

Lawyer Khalil Idrissi said “This article should be amended to grant more rights to women. And under this law, the rapist is sentenced between five and ten years, and in the case of a minor, the punishment becomes of ten years to twenty years.

Forcing the victim to marry the rapist discretely is still practiced in many Middle Eastern countries. Some people perceive the honour of the family and her family is linked with the hymen of the woman, if she lost it, no one will marry her and she will be perceived as susceptible to moral corruption. And for the sake of the reputation of the family in the society, raped women pay the price twice and become victims twice. 

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