‘We are all Meriem’, Moroccans protest death of raped minor

Protestors gathered in front of  Parliament today in solidarity with Mariam, the minor who lost her life after an illegal abortion that followed her rape by a 24-year-old man.

The protest knew the participation of men and women of all ages. They all stood in the torching sun to vocalize the same demand: decriminalizing abortion in Morocco.

Reda Mardi, a young protestor, disagrees with the Moroccan penal code on the means of abortion and rape laws. 

“Why should raped girls marry their abusers? They are kids who got raped and in Meriam’s case, she lost her life,” Reda recalled the past incidents of the unfortunate tragic events that took place when rape victims were forced to marry their abusers.

Reda blames Meriem’s death on the government.

He believes that rapists do not get the sentences they deserve; he suggested longer sentences and says that no matter the sentence it will never be enough.

“We are defending basic human rights today and it’s sad seeing that only a small number of protestors are here, Yet I am glad to see activists and citizens trying to make a change!” said Reda

Dania Putri, an Indonesian woman living in Morocco stood in solidarity with victims of rape to call for the ratification of abortion laws.

Dania said that laws criminalizing abortion should change because “it harms the most marginalized women in society and subject them to a lot of things” from poverty to homelessness and more.

She hopes that people could fathom the injustice of the system saying that one protest is not enough and that Moroccans should raise awareness on a collective level to make a change.

Youssef Sebti, a student who stood in solidarity with the cause said that what happened is far from normal and called it a human rights violation.

“If we allow such things to keep on happening, it means that we are endorsing such tragedies,” said the young man.

He admits that laws can be hard to change but he hopes that there will be a change of consciousness first to drop the stigma around abortion.

Chaimae Bentananat, a digital creator, says that it’s time we let women ‘choose what they want’.

She recalls that this isn’t the first time a tragic event of this kind happens and that it probably won’t be the last which is why immediate change should happen.

A protestor called Meriem held her banner high with the hashtag Meriem and said that if Moroccans stood together over and over and protested more often things could change.

Camelia, a French Moroccan independent journalist declared that abortion shouldn’t be ‘conditional’ recalling that women have been fighting for a long time for their demands to decriminalize it.

“How many tragedies do we need before changing things?” said Camelia.

She calls everyone to verbalize their demands and take solidarity stands with pressing causes, she is glad that the Moroccan society has been adopting Me Too movements and hopes for actual results.

The protest was very peaceful, with people from all over the country holding talks about the matter as they waved their banners, and promised that more protests should be expected so that their voice is heard.

They’re advocating for girls like Meriem, and all the other victims of laws restricting access to healthy, safe pregnancy terminations.

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