petition calling for a change to the law has garnered about 3,500 signatures
and protests are held across the country
to condemn this blatant violation
rights. Today, the Moroccan-American
Legal Empowerment Network (AMLEN)
and other Moroccan-American community activists join our voices to women in
Morocco through this outcry to bring to justice all those who
condemned Amina to her death at 16 years of age.
should never have to marry at 16 years.
should never have to marry the man who raped her.
Amina Filali’s suicide at the age of 16 is a tragic case of
a Moroccan girl forced to marry her rapist whose violence pushed her to death. Amina’s
case is a wake-up call about the flawed article 475-2 of the Moroccan Penal
code that absolves the aggressor of his crime once he consents to marry his
475 of the Moroccan Penal Code states: "Whoever, without violence, threats or fraud, abducts or attempts
to remove or divert a minor under eighteen years, is punished by imprisonment
of one to five years and a fine of 200 to 500 Dirhams. When a nubile minor is
removed or diverted marries her captor, the latter may only be prosecuted when
a complaint if filed by a person(s) entitled to apply for annulment of marriage
and cannot be sentenced until after the annulment of marriage been pronounced.”
When Amina was raped early 2011, the judge called for a
mediation instead of a prosecution against the offender. Having no one to turn
to, Amina was forced into marrying her rapist who, along with his family,
subjected her to beatings and starvation. Rapists like Amina’s are protected by
legal immunity and the corrupt honor system that decriminalized them with the
blessings of the judge, the legal aids, the police and the religious clerics.
WE SAY NO MORE!
We, Moroccan Women in the US,
say No More criminalization of the victim and No More impunity for the
criminal. We demand the abolition of the 475 article from the penal code. We
demand maximum punishment to the aggressor and complete protection and support
for the victim. As committed citizens, we denounce the current unjust law: it encourages
violence against women and forced marriages of minors. We call on the
Increase the terms of detention of
rapists from the current 5-10 years to a 10-20 years without parole
Ensure clear, easy and speedy filing
and processing of the alleged rape claim
Guarantee a thorough investigation
of the claims with less presumption of consent on the victim and the genuine
belief that she is a victim and not an accomplice.
We demand revisions in the penal
code and an end to the complicity of the police investigators, the legal aids,
the Adouls, the judges as well as access
to legal counsels who are too expensive to represent the victims
or refuse such pro-bono cases, mainly in rural settings.
Amina’s case highlights women’s inevitable and dramatic
descent into despair when they live outside urban centers and beyond access to
any legal services for the poor and the marginalized. As citizens, civil
society members, parents, and sisters, we ask urgent action be taken to revise
the Moroccan penal code that sent Amina to her death.
We owe this to Amina Filali.