Morocco Parliament amended Penal Code Article on rape
Morocco Parliament has amended an article of the penal code that allowed rapists of underage girls to avoid prosecution by marrying their victims.
The Parliament of Morocco on 23 January 2014 unanimously amended an article of the penal code that allowed rapists of underage girls to avoid prosecution by marrying their victims. Country has amended the code following lobbying of activists seeking better protection of young rape victims.
The Article 475 of the penal code that generated unprecedented public criticism. Issue came to public prominence in 2012, when a 16-year-old Amina Filali killed herself after she was forced to marry with the rapist. A prison term of one to five year is mentioned to anyone who abducts or deceives a minor is given in the Article 475. Its second clause says that in case the victim gets married with the culprit than he cannot be prosecuted. This clause provides prosecutors to defend themselves.
The right groups have welcomed the amendment. Gender inequality and violence against women in Morocco are the subjects of frequent demonstrations in the capital Rabat. This amendment was proposed first by the Islamist-led government of the country in 2013.