Thursday, March 15, 2012


Rabat, Morocco (AP) - The case of a 16-year-old girl who killed herself after she was forced to marry her rapist has spurred outrage among Morocco’s internet activists and calls for changes to the country’s laws. An online petition, a Facebook page and countless tweets expressed horror over the suicide of Amina Filali, who swallowed rat poison on Saturday to protest her 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 honor of the woman’s family. “Amina, 16, was triply violated, by her rapist, by tradition and by Article 475 of the Moroccan law,” tweeted activist Abadila Maaelaynine. It is said that a judge can recommend marriage only in the case of agreement by the victim and both families.

The marriage is then pushed on the victim by the families to avoid scandal, said Fouzia Assouli, president of Democratic League for Women’s Rights. “It is unfortunately a recurring phenomenon,” she said. “We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code which allows the rapist to escape justice.” The victim’s father said it was the court officials who suggested from the beginning the marriage option when they reported the rape. “The prosecutor advised my daughter to marry, he said ‘go and make the marriage contract,’” said Lahcen Filali in an interview. Filali said Amina complained to her mother that her husband was beating her repeatedly during the five months of marriage but that her mother counseled patience. A Facebook page called “We are all Amina Filali” has been formed and an online petition calling for Morocco to end the practice of marrying rapists and their victims has already gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

A Moroccan teenager committed suicide by drinking rat poison after being forced to marry her rapist, who wed his victim in a bid to beat the system and evade prison. In many societies, the loss of a woman’s virginity outside of wedlock is a huge stain of honor on the family. In cases of rape, the burden of proof is often on the victim and if the woman can’t prove it, she may be prosecuted for debauchery.  In this society away from God, the laws favor those with power and seek to gratify their senses at all costs.

Those who regularly indulge in illicit relationships outside marriage will see the members of the opposite sex merely as objects of sense stimuli and nothing more. They treat others, including their elders, such as parents, with irreverence. ... In a society of sinners, there cannot be peace and happiness. The result is war, crime, murder, rape, terror and torment. The root cause of these sins is the fundamental mistake of identifying oneself with the body, which forms the basis for sense enjoyments, through foul means, if necessary. ... Only with the total eradication of these sins by a global effort can sanity return to human society and not merely by protracted and prolonged rhetorical speeches at the United Nations organizations and other world organizations.

Śrīla Bhakti Swarup Tirtha Mahārāja :
“Only God Can Save This Earth”
Discourse at Maryland University, USA
Gaudiya Vaishnava Association (GVA)

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