The Amendment of Article 475 of the Moroccan law, An Emotional Story!

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This article was published on “The Voice of Women Initiative”, ckeck: http://vowinitiative.org/2014/01/27/1793/

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During the 16 days of activism against violence, I wrote about an emotional story in my country, the story of the innocent Amina Al Fili who killed herself after being forced by law (the article 475) to marry her rapist.

The Article 475 of the Moroccan law cites that a rapist can escape punishment if he marries his victim.  It is called “Reparations agreement “between the family of the victim and the family of the rapist”.

Amina Al Filali couldn’t stand to live a miserable life, since she was beaten, deprived of food and insulted all the time by her rapist who used to call her “dishonest” girl -even if it was because of him- then Amina decided to make an end to her life.  She wanted her voice her  be heard and do something about this unacceptable situation that many Moroccan girls face every time.

Her death shocked many Moroccan people, received widespread media coverage and sparked protests in the capital Rabat as well as other cities in order to amend this article and establish social justice.

Her case provoked deep emotion in the country. For media, blogosphere, human right activists, women and men … her death was marked by a dispute of exceptional magnitude on the issue of rape and the place of women in our society. Moroccans felt the need that it is high time to make an end to this article, before it ends for the life of many other victims.

With today’s social movements and social networks, this case couldn’t pass unnoticed. The news of Amina’s suicide, generated a national debate at an extensive scale in Morocco. Even the government has dedicated the greater interest of its weekly meeting on this issue, that from the one hand is inhuman; and on the other hand disadvantageous to the image of Morocco in the international community.

Finally!! the parliament of Morocco has solidly amended the article 475 of the penal code that allowed rapists of marry their victims and avoid jail.

Now! we can make sure that no one can rape a girl and then marry her… no more rights will be violated… no more girls will kill themselves…

Thanks to all the Moroccans activists who believed in Amina’s case… the real Moroccans who helped to put an end to this nightmare… the Moroccans who did their best to fight for social justice…

A special thanks to our dearest Amina… she is a symbol of inspiration… physically she is no longer here… but her soul will always be around… thanks Amina for saving other girls.

Amina R.I.P, we will always remember you!

Sana AFOUAIZ

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Amina Al Filali symbol of violence injustice #16days

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This article was published on “The Voice of Women Initiative”, check: http://vowinitiative.org/2013/12/10/amina-al-filali-symbol-of-violence-injustice/

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This is a real story that happened in my own country, feeling ashamed and sad to write about it, but I believe that it is worth telling the world about it.

The heartbreaking story of Amina El Filali captures the fear facing women and girls who are raped and obligated to get married with their rapist because of one particularly outdated lawful tradition.

Amina Al Filali is the 16 years old Moroccan girl, forced to marry her rapist. She used to live a normal life with her family in a small village, before being kidnapped for 10 days in a forest where the rapist raped her, she made her way back home, and was blamed for what happened to her by her community.

Her family sued the rapist Mustapha, but at the end and based Article 475 of Moroccan law which states that a rapist can escape punishment if he marries his victim.  They call it “Reparations agreement «between the family of the victim and the family of the rapist. According to this law, Amina was obliged to marry her rapist.

6 Months into this marriage, Amina was  mistreated, became a victim to nonstop physical violence, in fact, she was beaten, deprived of food and insulted all the time by her husband for being raped and for being a dishonest girl. All of these unhealthy conditions pushed her to put an end to her depressed life. She committed suicide by drinking rat poison.

This story speaks of the injustice that happens to women not only in Morocco but in many places in the world, it is unfair to permit a rapist to marry the victim, it is like giving them the green light to rape more women and marry them after. Allowing them to avoid jail and blame the victims (Women).

I believe that During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, people all over the world need to remember the death of our dear innocent Amina and raise their voices against this kind of laws. It is time to think about the victim’s rights and break the wall of silence about these situations.

Rest in peace Amina! We will always remember you.

Sana AFOUAIZ