Two years in prison for repeated rape of an 11-year-old girl: the case that shook Morocco

Anger is rising in Morocco after three men were convicted of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl who had become a mother. In the first instance, they were sentenced to between 18 months and two years in prison. Public opinion and the government have taken up the cause against a “despicable” judgment.

An angry verdict. On March 20, the criminal chamber of the Rabat Court of Appeal (Morocco) examined the case of three men aged 25, 32 and 37, accused of repeated rape of an 11-year-old girl. One of them was sentenced to two years in prison, while the other two were sentenced to 18 months behind bars. They were also sentenced to pay damages totaling 50,000 dirhams (4500 euros).

This verdict, considered too lenient, scandalized public opinion. On Wednesday, April 5, in the Moroccan capital, several dozen demonstrators took to the streets to protest against this first instance judgment, on the eve of the opening of the appeal trial, which should however be postponed at the request of the civil party’s lawyer. “This verdict is incomprehensible, unjust and shocking. We are here to carry the voice of this child. It must stop!”, Maria Tahir told AFP, who came to protest at the call of the “Spring of Dignity”, a collective of feminist associations, outside a court in Rabat.

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