Horrified by the story of 16-year-old Amina Filali, who killed herself after being forced to marry her rapist, nearly 800,000 Avaaz members signed a petition calling on the Moroccan government to repeal the law that allows rapists to escape prosecution by marrying their victims.
At the weekend in Casablanca, we delivered that call to a tribunal set up to hear testimonies from victims of Article 475 of Morocco's penal code. With Amina’s family, Avaaz members delivered a giant banner calling for the law to be scrapped (with the number of signatories on the banner), and released 475 balloons outside the tribunal building.
So many Aminas
Since 2006, the government has been promising to end Article 475 and pass laws prohibiting violence against women. But it hasn't happened.
Amina’s father, Lahsan al-Filali said: “There are so many Aminas in Morocco, this is the truth. I am so grateful and happy to see so many people joining the cry to prevent the same thing from happening again. It is a comfort to know that people around the world are helping people to understand what democracy is, and helping to influence Morocco's law. If this event didn't happen, people wouldn't know about Amina or her suffering. The penal code must be changed – Article 475 kills girls and lets rapists walk free.”
Avaaz is calling on prime minister Abdelilah Benkirane and other ministers to draft a comprehensive law to stop violence against women, including a total repeal of Article 475.
Take action: Up the pressure – sign the petition.