Moroccan Authorities Arrest Sexual Assault Perpetrator

Rabat – Following the release of a sexual assault video on Tuesday that caused a public uproar on social media, Moroccan security forces arrested a 21-year old suspect on Wednesday in Benguerir–a city located in the Rehamna province in central Morocco. The suspect was allegedly involved in violently assaulting a young girl.The incident occured back in January, and the identity of the victim has now been identified.Yesterday, Morocco’s General Directorate for National Security opened an investigation, seeking to identify the suspect involved in the assault. In a statement, the DGSN urged all law enforcement to identify the identity of perpetrator who violently attempted to undress the victim, while  touching her inappropriately. The girl is heard begging and crying for help in the video, while a second aggressor stands laughing while filming the scene.Public UproarThe 55-second video has stirred backlash and concern among Moroccan citizens on social media. A hashtag is now being used to decry the incident. The hashtag “#Wash_Maandakch_Khtek” (translation: “Don’t you have a sister?”) echoes the young woman’s pleas, heard in the video as she tries stop her abuser.As awareness of the incident spreads, a Twitter user urged authorities to come up with a solution to end similar occurrences in Morocco: “We need a solution…six months in prison is not enough.”Others urged the government to apply the death penalty in rape cases.I’m so done with my country ??#???_???????_???— Asmaa Ait lahcen (@SimaVu) March 27, 2018As awareness of the incident spread, a twitter user urged authorities to come up with a solution to help end similar occurrences in Morocco. “We need a solution…six months in the prison is not enough.”#???_???????_???#???_???????_????????? ????.. ??? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ??????.— ??? ????? ?????? (@aabdpres) March 27, 2018“Please don’t you tell me that you are against death penalty anymore,” wrote another.Ne dites plus s’il vous plait que vous êtes contre la peine de mort #???_???????_???— Rim Kaanane (@RimKaanane) March 27, 2018The investigation of the incident falls just one month after Morocco’s new law against harassment and gender-based violence was enacted on February 14.Bouchra Abdou,  an activist, feminist, and director of Tahadi Center,  told Morocco World News that the new law is not “really enough.” She added that there should be a better security approach for dealing with assaults  in public spaces, adding that “authorities need to push up their sleeves and do something concrete about assault incidents and their perpetrators.” Abdou added that the Ministry of Education also needs to offer students awareness campaigns to educate them about the dangers of assault and harassment.In November, The Tahadi Association launched a campaign on both social media and in public spaces platforms to prevent sexual harassment on public transportation in Casablanca. The campaign was a response to a previous assault on a public Casablanca bus last August.Seven months ago, graphic footage was released of a group of teenagers violently assaulting a mentally ill-girl on a bus in Casablanca.The incident resulted in public protests in Morocco’s major cities, including Rabat and Casablanca, to denounce the lack of public safety.

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