Moroccan activists and people around the world are expressing their outrage at a law allowing rapists to force their victims into marriage. Amina al-Filali, 16, killed herself after being forced to marry her rapist.
A law in Morocco and many Arab nations allows a rapist to escape a prison sentence if he or she marries his or her victim. The law has caused much outrage and drawn worldwide scorn for its severity and outlandishness.
Just last year, the world watched the case of a woman known only as Gulnaz, who was imprisoned for being raped, seen as adultery under Afghanistan law.
Gulnaz's story eventually caught the eye of world leaders and she was offered her freedom without recourse; after she was set free, though, Gulnaz married her rapist in order to prevent backlash against her family.
Unfortunately, 16-year-old Amina al-Filali was not given her freedom. She drank rat poison last week after the forced marriage took place.
Since then, activists have been filling the streets of Morocco and pleading with government officials to change the law. According to the American Foreign Press, over 300 protestors stagedd a sit-in outside the courthouse where Amina was married.
"We have to reform the criminal code to adapt to the new constitution, which forbids violence against women and ensures the equality of the sexes," Nouzha Skalli, the former Minister for Women and Families, told Morocco's channel 2M. "The law treats the raped minor like a criminal even if she was the victim of violence," she added.
Reuters has now reported that Moroccan officials have heard the cries of the people and will amend their law.
"This is a painful incident … This is an issue we can't afford to ignore," said Communication Minister and government spokesman Mustafa el-Khalfi. "She was raped twice- once by the rapist and the second time by marrying him."
"We plan harsher sentences against rapists, and we will launch a debate about law 475 to reform it," el-Khalfi told the news agency.