Rabat - Police have arrested more suspects for their alleged involvement in the case of Khadija, the 17-year-old who said she was kidnapped and repeatedly raped.
Rabat – Police have arrested more suspects for their alleged involvement in the case of Khadija, the 17-year-old who said she was kidnapped and repeatedly raped.
The case, which has sparked outrage among Moroccan citizens in the last week, continues to develop.
An authority told AFP that the general prosecutor of the Criminal Division of the Beni Mellal Court of Appeal has decided to prosecute and to put the suspects in pre-trial detention.
The primary suspect is aged 20 and is being prosecuted for “trafficking a minor, rape, threat of murder, torture, kidnapping and for having a criminal gang.”
Ten other suspects are facing charges of “human trafficking of a minor, threat of murder, torture, kidnapping, rape and non-reporting of crime and for not helping a person in danger,” the source added.
A twelfth suspect will be charged for “not helping the victim” and for not reporting on a crime.
Police are now searching for three other suspects, AFP’s source said.
A member of an NGO based in Marrakech, NSAT, Loubna El Joud, told AFP that the alleged victim “is still shocked even if she tries to be strong, her hands are shaking when she speaks.”
El Joud said that “several volunteer doctors have offered to remove her tattoos, but the dermatologist recommended waiting” due to inflammation in her skin.
The alleged crimes against Khadija occurred in Oulad Ayad, a small town near Beni Mellal in central Morocco.
When Khadija spoke about her tragedy, she said that her captors “raped” and “tortured” her for almost two months .“They are all criminals … I want my rights and dignity back. They are a very dangerous gang,” she said in an interview as she showed green tattoos all over her body.
On Sunday, August 26, several suspects’ parents gave another version of the story.
The parents claimed that Khadija has a bad reputation in the town, adding that she used to “drink, smoke and even burn herself with cigarettes.”
A mother of two of the suspects said that Khadija asked “for the tattoos and they were not forced on her by anyone.”
The suspect’s mother added that she would defend the victim herself if she were really a victim as she claims.
“She wanted this, she was always knocking on my door asking if my son was home,” the mother told Moroccan television channel Soltana.
Another parent questioned Khadija’s allegation, claiming that if what she charged of his son were true, the victim’s father would have file a complaint about his daughter’s absence.
Khadija, however, claimed that she tried to escape several times, but the suspects caught her and tortured her.
“They didn’t give me food or drink, and I was not even allowed to take a shower.”
Social media users have launched a petition on Change.org asking King Mohammed VI and public authorities to restore Khadija’s dignity by giving her good representation in court.
The petition has gathered over 28,000 signatures so far.