Morocco rights advocates decry sentencing in child rape case

Morocco rights advocates decry sentencing in child rape case
The Moroccan penal code allows for up to 20 years in prison in child rape cases - yet in this instance, three men have been given two years or less.
2 min read
Morocco's active women's rights groups have slammed the insubstantial sentencing [Getty images]

Women's rights campaigners in Morocco slammed as "unjust" Friday the sentences handed down to three men accused of having repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl.

On March 20, an appeals court in the capital Rabat sentenced one man to two years in prison and two to 18 months on charges of statutory rape and "violent indecent assault of a minor", according to news website Medias24, which dubbed the sentences "shocking".

The girl from a village near Rabat, who was 11 at the time of the abuse, was raped repeatedly over a period of months, the Jossour Forum of Moroccan Women said in a statement on Friday.

The group called for "more severe sentences in the face of such heinous crimes".

The Moroccan penal code allows for prison terms of up to 20 years for the charges brought against the three defendants, who were also ordered to pay a combined 50,000 dirhams ($4,880) in compensation.

The girl was impregnated by one of her attackers, Medias24 said.

INSAF, another rights group which has supported the girl, now 12, announced it would appeal the sentences, the news website said.

Sociologist Soumaya Naamane Guessous denounced "unacceptable injustice" in an open letter addressed to Morocco's justice minister.