Stories like this one bring out the xenophobe in me until I remind myself that some people in this country would like to pass laws almost as primitive as Morocco’s:
The suicide of a Moroccan teenager who reportedly had been forced to marry her rapist has spurred calls from around the world to change criminal laws long lamented by Moroccan feminists.
Human rights groups complain that Moroccan law has been interpreted to allow someone who rapes a minor to escape punishment if he marries the victim. Moroccan media reported that was what happened to Amina Filali, a 16-year-old who reportedly swallowed rat poison Saturday.
“It is unfortunately a recurring phenomenon,” Fouzia Assouli, the president of the Democratic League for Women’s Rights, told the Associated Press. “We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code, which allows the rapist to escape justice.”
The Moroccan government has argued that the law applies only if the victim agrees to marry, but activists say young women can be pressured into marriage to protect family honor. Her father told a Moroccan news website that the courts had pushed the idea, the Associated Press reported.