By Rita Houari
By Rita Houari
Morocco World News
Fez, March 20, 2012
The case of Amina Filali took people by surprise and mobilized a large number of Moroccan citizens of different segments of society and created ado on social media that propelled 200 people to meet and organize a sit-in, last Sunday, in front of the Moroccan parliament in Rabat.
Other demonstrations came as a response to the lack of impartiality of Moroccan justice regarding the women’s rights. The case of Amina was the straw that broke the camel’s back, a suicide that failed to go unnoticed, a life lost forever, but ushered the birth of a “posthumous destiny” to raise awareness, reshape and correct the loopholes of an entire legal system.
A delegation of the National Council of Human Rights (NCHR) composed of members of the Regional Commission of Human Rights of Tangier, visited Larache on Monday, to offer condolences and listen to the family of Amina Filali, the 16 years old raped victim, who took her own life.
According to a statement of the NCHR, obtained by MAP News Agency on Tuesday, the Council “expresses its deep dismay about the subsistence of laws that continue to deny women all that is humane, pushing many of them to despair.”
“Amina died because the current law has sinned twice: By allowing the termination of any legal action against the rapist who marries his victim (Article 475 of the Penal Code) and giving the judge the authority to issue a marriage license to minors under certain conditions (Article 20 of the Family Code),” said the same source.
In this regard, the NHRC insists that “this provision and all other provisions, which are contrary to human dignity, to the Constitution, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Children, should be repealed.”
In order for the law to strengthen the protection and safety of thousands of women and girls who live in vulnerable economic and social situations, the NHRC “calls on the authorities concerned to expedite the enactment of the Revised Penal Code, to also reconsider the provisions of the Family Code, which entitles the judge to allow the marriage of minors with regard to the large number – and ever-increasing marriages of underage girls since the entry into effect of this code.”
The Council also stressed that all national laws should comply with the spirit and letter of the Constitution, particularly in terms of parity, the fight against discrimination and violence against women in the private and public space, and to give priority in the process of implementing the constitution to the Authority of Equality and the fight against all forms of discrimination and to establish this entity on institutional and organizational legal basis, allowing it to help meet all the challenges that are facing Morocco in terms of equality between men and women in different fields.
Rita Houari is Morocco World News’ contributor. She can be reached at: ([email protected])
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