Target: Moroccan Government
Goal: Protest the law that forced a young Moroccan girl to marry the man that raped her and resulted in her suicide
Amina Filali, a 16-year-old Moroccan girl, has killed herself after being told by the Moroccan court to marry the man who raped her. Under Islamic and Moroccan law, it is understood that a man who rapes a minor can be forgiven of his sin and charges against him if he marries the victim of his crime.
A year ago, Amina was walking through the streets of her home in Morocco when a man 10 years older than her violently attacked and raped her. In attempt to uphold the family honor, her parents (under the advice of the court) forced Amina to agree to marry her attacker. Following the marriage, Amina was subjected to violent beatings from her former rapist, now husband. After confiding this to her family, she was told to practice patience. In a final attempt to escape her attacker, she ate rat poison and killed herself.
Article 475 of the penal code states that the “kidnapper” (or rapist/attacker) of a minor can marry his victim to avoid criminal prosecution. In recent times, this law has been used to justify the marriage between a rapist and his victim. According to the Huffington Post, the Moroccan judge who oversaw the case said “it is not something that happens a great deal – it is very rare.” He continued that many times the victim’s family will agree to marriage for fear that she will not be able to find a husband if it is widely known that she had been raped.
Fouzia Assouli, president of the Democratic League for Women’s Rights, noted, “it is unfortunately a recurring phenomenon. We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code which allows the rapist to escape justice.” Not only this, but in Morocco the burden of proof falls on the victim. If she cannot prove that she was raped—as her word is not evidence enough in these cases—the woman actually may be prosecuted for adultery and subsequently imprisoned.
Amina Filali’s death cannot be in vain. Now is the time to take action and revise the deplorable Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code. Sign below to demand that the Moroccan government do just this.
Dear Prime Minister of Morocco,
The recent suicide of Amina Filali highlights the great need for revision of Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code. It is unimaginable that this law would exist in the first place, but now after the terrible and tragic suicide of this young girl, there must be radical change.
Under the law as it stands now, Amina was raped when she was 15 years old by a man 10 years older than her. If this rape weren’t traumatic enough, Amina was then forced to marry her assailant in hopes of preserving the honor of her family. As if the rape were somehow her fault, she had to atone for the attack of her rapist. In an effort to finally escape him, she killed herself by taking rat poison.
The law that allows this kind of backwards, warped thinking to continue must be reformed. Please consider Amina Filali; her tragic end should be proof enough that this law must be amended.
[Your Name Here]