Rabat – An online petition has garnered 3,588 signatures so far. Posted on Avaaz.com, the petition was launched by Moroccan activities shortly after the arrest of two young Moroccan women for “indecent dress.”
Under the theme “wearing a skirt is not crime,” Moroccan bloggers and social activists drew up a petition against the mandatory dressing code in Morocco. They condemned the arbitrary arrest of two young women who were dressed “inappropriately” in Inzigan, near Agadir, Morocco.
Some Moroccans consider inappropriate dress shameful, unethical, and socially unacceptable, saying it promotes moral decay. Salafist merchants in the Souk of Inzigan called for the arrest of the two girls. They assembled in front of the police station to demand they be charged for dressing indecently and disturbing the public order.
Two young women were arrested in the Souk of Inezgane and spent a night at the police station. They were brought before the public prosecutor the next day, and their “hearing session will take place on July 6,” according to the petition.
This arbitrary arrest caused an outpouring of anger among youth, especially women, describing it as a limit of personal freedom. The Moroccan penal code does not specifically mention the dressing code, so the girls should not have been arrested for their dressing.
“This is a regression and a case that will open the way for those who want to destine themselves as the protectors of morals,” and give them the right “to preach and impose their own laws,” the petition said, adding that this incident “is a breach of the principles of living together and the security of citizens.”
The petition also criticizes the authorities for not arresting also the vendors, “who put the lives of two women in danger by exposing them to physical and moral aggression.”
The petition, launched online on Avaaz.com, was supported by activists from different European countries. They all agreed that the arrest of these two young women is a blatant violation of human rights and goes against gender inequality. It mentioned the 19th article of the Moroccan constitution, granting gender equality, as well as civil, political, economic, and social freedoms, which were violated by this arrest.
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