Rabat - Two young men were arrested on Friday in the city of Inezgane over an incident wherein two girls were subject to a public offense for being dressed “inappropriately” at the town souk last month.
Rabat – Two young men were arrested on Friday in the city of Inezgane over an incident wherein two girls were subject to a public offense for being dressed “inappropriately” at the town souk last month.
The General Directorate of National Security of the provincial district of Inezgane , a town about 10 kilometers away from Agadir, announced in a press release that the two suspects, one of whom has a criminal record, were arrested for sexual harassment, abuse and assault.
The same source added that the two young men, 17 and 18 years old, did, in fact, take part in the assault of the two victims.
Police said that the situation had developed into a “verbal and physical assault and escalated to a blatant sexual molestation when one of the suspects engaged in suggestive acts against decency.”
The release added, “the first suspect was taken into custody while the minor has been placed under surveillance under the supervision of a public prosecutor in the context of the ongoing investigation.”
The arrest of the two young women based on the harsh demand of Inezgane street vendors created a controversy among Moroccans whose opinions are split on the issue. Some call for the need for respect of the Moroccan dress code so that it is in line with Morocco’s conservative cultural and religious context, while others advocate for citizens’ personal freedom. Human rights activists denounced the arrest, saying it is “a flagrant transgression of individual freedoms.”
Amid the growing debate over the recent incidents of the young women offended in Inezgane and the homosexual who was attacked in Fez last month, Abdelilah Benkirane, Morocco’s Head of Government, has strongly discouraged citizens from proclaiming themselves as protectors of the law and the moral code, adding that “he will not tolerate citizens’ exercise of the powers of the state.”
Edited by Marwa Al Omami