BEIRUT

Middle East

Morocco might scrap disputed rape law: ministry

  • FILE - Moroccan "February 20" movement activists shout slogans, demanding "freedom and dignity" and wave banners during a demonstration in Rabat January 20, 2013. (REUTERS/Stringer)

RABAT: Morocco could scrap a disputed statutory rape law that favours the perpetrator, excusing them from jail if they marry their victim, the justice ministry said on Monday.

The suicide in March 2012 of 16-year-old rape victim Amina Filali, who was forced to marry her aggressor, launched the law into the spotlight and led to intensifying calls for its repeal.

The justice ministry said in a statement it supported a proposal by parliament to alter article 475 of the penal code, under which the rape of a minor is punishable by several years in prison unless the victim and their aggressor wed.

The proposal has yet to be formally approved by both houses, however.

The ministry said it was prepared to go even further than scrapping the paragraph on marriage, suggesting harsher punishments for rapists of minors, including up to 30 years in prison rather than the current stipulated five.

 
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