The family of a Moroccan minor raped on Monday denounced the prison sentence, according to them leniable, imposed on the six accused in this case which recalls a similar case that scandalized Morocco a few weeks ago. Fatima-Zahra, aged 15 at the time, was raped by six men in a village near Tata in 2021, causing a pregnancy, the teenager's uncle told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Following a complaint from the family, "the investigations led to the identification of a main suspect, who is the coach of the girl in a local football team, as well as five other men who also raped her," said the uncle, on the eve of the appeal trial of the accused. Police were able to arrest five suspects while the sixth is still at large.
In December 2021, the Court of First Instance of Agadir (south) sentenced the six defendants to one year in prison each for "indecent assault on a minor". An "unfair and illogical" verdict, regretted the parent of the victim, saying that his niece, mother of an eight-month-old child, was "in an unimaginable state". The family calls "for justice".
The appeal trial in the case is scheduled to begin Wednesday before a court in Agadir, where the defendants will appear free because they have served their sentences. According to Moroccan media, this drama resonates as a "repetition" of another case where three men accused of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl were sentenced last March at first instance to two years in prison, sentences whose leniency had shocked the public.
After a strong mobilization of civil society, one of the accused was finally sentenced on appeal to 20 years in prison and his two accomplices to 10 years each. In Morocco, NGOs and media frequently sound the alarm on cases of sexual violence against minors and call for harsher punishments.