20 years in prison for 13 accused of raping a minor

Eleven people who gang-raped a girl and held her in Morocco have been sentenced to 20 years in prison, the victim’s lawyer said Wednesday.

In a video clip that was published in the summer of 2018, and spread widely, Khadija Akro, who was 17 years old, recounted being kidnapped, detained, raped, and other assaults for two months, by young men from her village, Awlad Ayad, near the city of Beni Mellal “central”.

Her testimony showed traces of cigarette burns and obscene tattoos forcibly engraved on her body during her detention, which sparked a wave of indignation and protest against the “culture of rape and impunity.”

Three years later, the Criminal Chamber of the Beni Mellal Court of Appeal convicted the 13 defendants on various charges, ranging from “human trafficking”, “rape”, “forming a criminal gang” and “kidnapping”, the victim’s lawyer, Ibrahim Hashan, told AFP on Wednesday.

Eleven of them were sentenced to 20 years in prison, and two others were sentenced to two years in prison, and one year suspended, according to Hashan, who added that Khadija Akaru’s attackers were also convicted of paying a fine of 200,000 dirhams (about 19,000 euros) in exchange for damages.

Ibrahim Hashan said, “Given the seriousness of the facts, the verdict seems normal to us, not aggravating, because human trafficking with a minor is punishable by up to 30 years in prison,” stressing that he will appeal the verdict. “The victim is still receiving treatment, and she will be accompanied by the effects of what she has suffered throughout her life,” he added.


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