Morocco to toughen legislation against rape

Photo: Morocco to toughen legislation against rape / Arab World

Morocco will toughen its rape legislation, eliminating a law allowing the rapist of an underage girl to get away with his crime by marrying his victim, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday, dpa reported.

The change was proposed by several political parties.

The ministry announced tougher penalties for sexual offences against those younger than 18 years. An abductor who has sex with an underage victim will face up to 10 years in prison.

Offences against decency, such as exhibitionism, will carry jail terms of up to 20 years. And the convicted rapist of a minor can be jailed for up to 30 years.

Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane's Islamist government began considering legal changes following the suicide last year of 16-year-old Amina Filali, whose case shocked the country.

The girl was raped by a resident of her village near the northern city of Larache on her way from school.

She was pressured into marrying the rapist in order to save her reputation and to allow him to avoid prison. She later killed herself by swallowing rat poison.

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