Crime & Justice

Moroccans protest lenient sentences for men who raped pre-teen

Rabat, Apr 5 (EFE).- Women’s rights activists gathered Wednesday outside the court of appeals in Morocco’s capital to protest against the light sentences handed down to three men found guilty of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl.

The assaults resulted in a pregnancy and the victim gave birth.

Participants held up placards with slogans such as “You have raped childhood and buried justice” and “Radical reform of the Penal Code.”

Two of the convicted rapists were sentenced to 18 months, while the third was condemned to two years behind bars.

The law “is not equitable” with victims, jurist Layla Imani told reporters covering the protest, pointing out that the sentences were shorted than what is stipulated in Moroccan legislation.

The demonstration was called by Spring of Dignity, a coalition of some 20 feminist organizations, in response to the March 20 sentencing.

It was nearly two years ago that the victim’s father noticed that she was pregnant and contacted police in Dar Hsain, a village on the outskirts of Tiflet, roughly 70 km (45 mi) east of Rabat.

The girl told police that she had been raped repeatedly by three neighbors ranging in age from 22 to 36 who threatened to kill her family if she reported the assaults. EFE ms/dr

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