Moroccan teacher 'sex assault' victim charged: lawyer

Moroccan teacher 'sex assault' victim charged: lawyer
Moroccan teachers have been charged after accusing security forces of sexual assault at a protest in the capital.
2 min read
09 April, 2021
Teachers have been protesting employment conditions [Getty]
A Moroccan teacher and 19 peers have been charged with "outrage" against security forces after she accused the latter of sexual assault during a protest against employment conditions, her lawyer said.  

Nezha Majdi, aged around 20, and her fellow teachers were charged with "outrage against public order personnel", alongside other offences, including "violating the health state of emergency", lawyer Souad Brahma told AFP. 

Majdi had told a local web-based television outlet in mid-March that she was "harassed" and suffered sexual "touching" by security forces during a protest that month.

Everything can be borne, "except for harming our dignity, which is a red line" the young teacher said tearfully in the video, which went viral. 

Majdi was arrested with the 19 others -- all male -- on Tuesday when they gathered with several hundred peers in a rally in the capital Rabat, Brahma said, adding that the 20 were charged on Thursday.

Majdi has been hit with the additional charge of "outrage towards a public institution", the lawyer said.

Brahma said her client had "dared to deplore sexual violence, and instead of being protected, she finds herself hit with allegations that have no foundation".

Outraging a public institution is punishable by between one month and one year in prison, while the offence of outrage against security forces carries between three months and two years jail time, according to the country's penal code.

The trial will begin on May 20 in Rabat, the lawyer said.

Some 85,000 teachers have been recruited since 2016 on temporary contracts, which lack the security or perks of permanent positions guaranteed by the public sector. 

Read more: How Morocco-Israel normalisation could push Algeria closer to Russia

Teachers in this category began protesting in 2019 and successfully secured some concessions, but took to the streets once more early this year to decry their "precarious" working conditions.    

The protests have continued in recent days in the streets of the capital, despite a ban on demonstrations imposed by the authorities to contain the coronavirus pandemic. 

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