Morocco: Outrage over marriage law that exonerates rapists
By Paul Schemm
KHEMIS SAHEL, Morocco: Hundreds of activists have rallied outside Morocco's parliament in the capital, Rabat, demanding the removal of an article in the country's penal code that absolves the perpetrator of the rape of a minor if he marries the victim.
The protests were triggered by the death last week of 16-year-old Amina Filali, who took her own life to escape marriage to the man whom her family says raped her. Escape for Amina came in the form of a pill of rat poison she bought in a market for 60¢.
''I had to marry her to him because I couldn't allow my daughter to have no future and stay unmarried,'' her mother, Zohra, said in the tiny village in northern Morocco where she lives.
The Justice Ministry suggests Amina was consenting and not a victim. But her death has called attention to - and prompted outrage over - the article in the penal code. Activists and social workers are calling for its repeal.