Nearly 300 people demonstrated Wednesday in Casablanca to denounce collective sexual assault of a young woman in the economic metropolis of Morocco, a case that deeply shocked the public opinion. “We are not afraid! Free the public space! “, chanted the crowd gathered in a central and effervescent place of the city, found a journalist of the AFP.
A video on Sunday showed a group of hilarious teenagers, violently jostling a young woman in tears on a bus in broad daylight, trying to undress her and touching her intimate parts. The six aggressors, all minors, were arrested.
The Casablanca Prefectural Police Department found on Tuesday the girl who was the victim of the criminal assault that was filmed aboard an urban bus in Casablanca.
The 26-year-old victim, who was “mentally disordered”, was the subject of a research notice “at the request of her family after leaving home last May to an unknown destination,” Moroccan police said Wednesday, that “the victim of this criminal act” was found Tuesday.
“Nobody can remain indifferent (…) it concerns us all,” said Fatym Layachi, columnist and director present among the demonstrators.
“It turns out that this drama was filmed, we heard about it. I dare not even imagine the number of similar dramas that happen every day on buses or elsewhere in public places. It has to stop, “she continued.
Since the dissemination of the images of the aggression, many local media are sounding the alarm on the harassment of women in the street, against a backdrop of a “crisis of values” in a society torn between modernity and conservatism. “I feel concerned because I could have been this girl,” said AFP Oum, a popular and committed Moroccan singer. “I’m here to say we have to educate our children better,” she said, wearing a turban, sunglasses on her nose.
For Salah El Ouadie, poet and president of the Damir (Conscience) movement, present at the sit-in, “there is a great danger today, it is the trivialization of these crimes, rape against women in space public”.
“We need the authorities to take the matter seriously, at the security level but also at the level of the role of the school,” he argued.
In Rabat, a similar gathering brought together nearly 200 people. In a country that claims, according to official discourse, tolerant Islam and women are not obliged to wear the veil, women are frequently subjected to insults, derogatory remarks and other sexist assaults in public spaces.
According to official figures, nearly two out of three Moroccan women are victims of violence. And public places are places where physical violence against them is most evident.
Moroccan law “condemns the harassment of women at work, but not in public spaces”, conceded Mustapha Ramid, Minister of State for Human Rights, assuring a new bill to Include for the first time harassment in public places, was being adopted.