Saturday, 17 March 2012
Moroccan girl commits suicide after being forced to marry her rapist
A 16-year-old Moroccan girl has committed suicide after a judge ordered her to marry her rapist, according to Moroccan media reports.
Last year Amina al-Filali’s parents filed charges against their daughter’s rapist, a man 10 years older than her but it was only recently that a judge in the northern city of Tangier decided that instead of punishing him, the two must be married.
The court’s decision to forcibly marry Amina to her rapist was supposed to “resolve” the damage of sexual violation against her, but it led to more suffering in the unwelcoming home of her rapist/husband’s family.
“After I filed a complaint against him, he said he will marry her. And when he married her and took her to his family's home he mistreated her, beating her and leaving her starve with no food,” Zahra Mallim, Amina’s mother told the Morocco's 2M TV.
Traumatized by the painful experience of rape, Amina decided to end her life by consuming rat poison in the house of her husband’s family, according to the Moroccan daily al-Massae.
According to the newspaper, this type of forced marriage is rooted in local rural traditions to safeguard the honor of girls who are raped.
Moroccan penal code exempts a rapist from punishment if he agrees to marry his victim.
“When the judge said they will marry, I did not agree, but I could not challenge the law. I wanted that man (the rapist) to go to prison,” Lahsan al-Filali, Amina’s father, told the 2M.
“At first I did not agree to this marriage, but when the court of family affairs called me and pressured me, I agreed,” he added.
Feminists have long demanded an amendment to this article.
Hafida Elbaz, director of the Women’s Solidarity Association told a-Massae that the article provides an opportunity for a perpetrator to avoid punishment.
The story has widely spread on Twitter and on Facebook with many in Morocco demanding action against the judge who issued the ruling.