2012 Arab News
2012-03-16 Moroccans angry as girl forced to marry rapist kills herself
Published: Mar 16, 2012 02:18 Updated: Mar 16, 2012 02:18

RABAT: Moroccan rights activists have increased pressure on the government to scrap laws that allow rapists to marry their victims after a 16-year-old girl killed herself.

The teenager committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist, who wed his victim in a bid to beat the system and evade prison. Amina Al Filali, 16, drank rat poison last week in Larache, near Tangiers in the north, said Fouzia Assouli, president of Moroccos Democratic League for Womens Rights. The girls rapist had sought to escape prison by invoking an article of the penal code which he claimed would exonerate him if the rape victim was his wife.
Assouli deplored that the relevant article proclaims to defend family values, but does not uphold the rights of women. Under Moroccan law, rape is punishable by five to 10 years in prison, rising to between 10 and 20 years if the victim is a minor. In some societies, the loss of a womans virginity outside of marriage is considered a dishonor to her family, and arrangements are often made for rape victims to marry their attackers.

Proposed constitutional reforms in Morocco include moves to boost womens rights. A government study last year found that about a quarter of Moroccan women have been sexually assaulted at least once in their lives.

2012 Arab News
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