In recent months, several tragic stories of violence and sexual abuse against women and young girls made the headlines in Moroccan newspapers.
Rabat – In recent weeks, Morocco has seen a surge in violence against women and girls, with several incidents occurring across the country, prompting reactions from local NGOs.
In a recent joint press release, the Injad Association Against Gender-Based Violence and the Women’s Solidarity Network, two Moroccan NGOs, have expressed their “great dismay and concern” following multiple reports of “brutal attacks and heinous crimes” against young Moroccan girls.
The press release mentioned several recent incidents, including the rape of a 6-year-old girl in Tata, southern Morocco, as well as the sexual abuse of two girls less than 13 years old in separate incidents in Temara and Fquih Ben Salah.
“There may be other unknown cases in different regions that did not appear to the public,” the press release said.
In response to the increased frequency of similar incidents, the Injad Association, which has several regional branches that follow up on the acts of violence against women and offer legal and psychological help to the victims, made a series of statements about the cases in Morocco.
The association announced “its absolute solidarity with the girls victims of rape and their families, and strongly condemns these criminal acts that have shaken up the Moroccan public opinion.”
The NGO also demanded public prosecution offices to take action against the suspects involved in such crimes and to offer help to the victims and their families.
Finally, the Injad Association called upon local and international human rights associations to defend the rights of the aforementioned victims, as well as the rights of women in Morocco.
The organizations issued the press release after incidents of violence against women and girls became more frequent in Morocco.
On June 4, a man in Tata allegedly raped a 6-year-old girl. The suspect, a neighbor of the girl’s family, was released on bail two days after his arrest following a complaint withdrawal from the victim’s father.
The judge explained that the provisional release decision was based on the withdrawal of the complaint and a medical report that does not prove the rape allegations. However, Forum Iffous, an NGO supporting the alleged rape victim, said that the father withdrew his claim “under pressure” and mentioned a “secret” medical report.
Soon after the suspect’s release, hundreds of citizens took to the streets in the small town of Fem Lahssen, the victim’s hometown, to protest the decision.
Viral videos on social media showed groups of protesters holding several banners that call for justice. One of the banners read: “Coronavirus is deadly, but child abuse is even more fatal.”
More recently, on June 16, police arrested a man in Meknes for kidnapping a 14-year-old girl, taking her to an isolated place, and “indecently assaulting” her.
Another crime in the same city, only two days later, targeted a French-Moroccan woman. On June 18, police arrested a 28-year-old suspect for kidnapping the Frenchwoman of Moroccan origin and sexually assaulting her.