23 January 2014

Morocco: Parliament Repeals Controversial Rape Law

Photo: Libération
Moroccan women protest discriminating against women.

Monrovia — The Moroccan parliament has amended a controversial law that allowed a rapist to marry his underage victim in order to escape prosecution, according to Al Jazeera. The vote to repeal the law reportedly received the unanimous backing of the country's MPs.

The New York Times reports that the decision to review the much-criticized article 475 came to a head when the death of a 16-year girl sparked public outrage. Amina al-Filali was forced to marry the 23-year-old man who had raped her. She committed suicide seventeen months after the forced marriage.

The practice of forced marriage is still common in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa where the loss of a woman's virginity "dishonours" her family.

Last year, the rights group Amnesty International called on King Mohammed VI to scrap the law, which the group said had led several teenage survivors of sexual violence to commit suicide.

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InFocus

Amnesty Praises Morocco Rape Law Change

Moroccan women protest discriminating against women.

The rights group Amnesty International has praised the decision to amend the controversial rape law which allowed rapists to escape prosecution by marrying their victims. Read more »