Morocco’s internet activists mobilized on Wednesday in outrage over the suicide of a 16-year-old rape victim who killed herself after she was forced to marry her rapist.
An online petition, a facebook page and countless tweets expressed horror of the case of Amina Filali, who swallowed rat poison on Saturday to protest her five months of marriage to the man who raped her a year earlier.
Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code allows for the “kidnapper” of a minor to marry his victim to escape prosecution, and it has been used to justify a traditional practice of making a rapist marry his victim to preserve the family’s honor.
“Amina, 16, was triply violated, by her rapist, by tradition and by article 475 of the Moroccan law,” tweeted activist Abadila Maaelaynine.
The victim’s father said in an interview with an online Moroccan newspaper that the court pushed the marriage on her.
“The prosecutor advised my daughter to marry, he said ‘go and make the marriage contract,’” said Lahcen Filali in an interview that appeared on goud.ma Tuesday night.
In many societies, the loss of a woman’s virginity outside of wedlock is a huge stain of honor on the family. In many Middle East societies, there is a tradition whereby a rapist can escape prosecution if he marries his victim, thereby restoring her honor. There is a similar injunction in the Old Testament’s Book of Deuteronomy.
I hope no one thinks that the Washington Post is an authority on Deuteronomy. Jewish law is explicit: the woman may never be forced to marry against her will.