Eleven people have been sentenced to 20 years in prison in Morocco’s Khadija rape case

Image credit: BBC

According to the prosecution lawyer, a Moroccan court sentenced 11 men to 20 years in prison for brutally rapping and kidnapping a 17-year-old woman in 2018.

Khadija, the young woman, had gone public with the assault, exhibiting the scars, burns, and tattoos she claimed the perpetrators had inflicted on her. She stated in a 2018 interview that she would “never forgive” her assailants.

The case sparked indignation across the country, prompting the #JusticePourKhadija campaign.

Khadija’s lawyer said he will appeal to the AFP news agency. The findings in Beni Mallal were “not tough,” according to Ibrahim Hachane, because trafficking defendants can face up to 30 years in jail if convicted.

The attackers were also sentenced to pay a $16,000 (£12,000) fine, according to Mr. Hachane.

Human rights activists warn that violence against women is endemic in Morocco, with one piece of research revealing that more than half of women have been victims of abuse.

The government introduced legislation criminalizing violence against women in 2018, which included a ban on forced marriage, sexual harassment in public areas, and harsher punishments for specific types of abuse.

The sentences of two more perpetrators have been reported to be contradictory. According to AFP, they were sentenced to two years in prison and a one-year suspended sentence, respectively.

Both sentences, according to local news site Article19, have been suspended. It also mentions a minor who was sentenced to three years in prison.

Khadija claimed that the perpetrators tortured her as well, adding that what they did to her “destroyed” her.

“I tried to flee multiple times, but I was apprehended and assaulted,” she revealed in a 2018 interview with Morocco’s Chouf TV.

Many Moroccans were astonished, but there was also pushback, with relatives of the suspects accusing Khadija of lying in the Moroccan media and accusing her of leading a “depraved” lifestyle.

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