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Moroccans demand change to strict Islamic law after suicide of girl forced to marry her rapist

Rabat, Thu, 15 Mar 2012 ANI
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Rabat, Mar 15 (ANI): Outraged Moroccans are demanding a change in the nation's strict Islamic penal code after a 16-year-old girl committed suicide as she was forced to marry her rapist.

 

People across the country expressed their anger towards the suicide of Amina Filali, who swallowed rat poison on Saturday in protest at her marriage to the man who raped her a year earlier, through an online petition, a Facebook page and countless tweets.

 

"Amina, 16, was triply violated, by her rapist, by tradition and by Article 475 of the Moroccan law," tweeted an activist.

 

Fouzia Assouli, President of Democratic League for Women's Rights pointed out that the marriage is sometimes pushed on the victim by the families to avoid scandal.

 

"It is unfortunately a recurring phenomenon. We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code which allows the rapist to escape justice," The Daily Mail quoted Assouli, as saying.

 

The victim's father said in an interview with an online Moroccan newspaper that the court pushed the marriage, even though the perpetrator initially refused.

 

He only consented when faced with prosecution, the victim's father said.

 

An article of the Moroccan penal code allows for the 'kidnapper' of a minor to marry his victim to escape prosecution.

 

It has been used to justify a traditional practice of making a rapist marry his victim to reserve the honour of the woman's family.

 

The penalty for rape is between five and ten years in prison, but rises to 10 to 20 in the case of a minor. (ANI)

 

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