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Women demand change to Moroccan rape law

Women demand change to Moroccan rape law
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Women’s rights activists in Morocco have demonstrated outside the parliament building in Rabat, to demand a change in the law on underage rape.

It follows the suicide of a 16 year old girl, who was forced to marry the man she claimed had raped her.

Amina Filali’s mother said the girl found herself in an abusive relationship after being pressured into the marriage in a custom enshrined in law.

Fouzia Assouli from Morocco’s Democratic League for Human Rights said: “What we have witnessed is scandalous. We have had enough. We must change this law. We must change this penal code.”

Demonstrator Fatiha Benmahjoub added: “This is not just for Moroccan women. It’s for women who are raped, beaten and killed throughout the world.”

Article 475 of the penal code is rooted in Old Testament times. It says an attacker or a rapist cannot be prosecuted if he marries his victim.

Morocco was praised for updating its family code in 2004, but activists say there’s still a lot of room for improvement.