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Eleven jailed for 20 years for kidnap and gang-rape of a Moroccan girl

The young woman said her captors forcibly tattooed her and burnt her with cigarettes/photo BBC

Eleven men accused of kidnapping and gang-raping a Moroccan teenager have been each sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to the prosecution lawyer.

The young woman - called Khadija - had gone public with the assault showing the scars, burns and tattoos she says the perpetrators inflicted on her.

In a 2018 interview, she said she would "never forgive" her attackers.

The case caused national outrage and led to a #JusticePourKhadija campaign.

Okkarou’s lawyer, Ibrahim Hachane, told AFP that the criminal chamber of the appeal court in the central town of Beni Mellal found the accused guilty on various charges including rape, and kidnapping and forcible confinement.

Two other accused were sentenced to two years’ prison and one year suspended, respectively, he added.

Hachane said the attackers were also fined 200,000 dirhams (about 19,000 euros, $16,000).

But to him, the verdicts seemed “not tough”, since a trafficking charge can be punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

He said he would appeal.

A study showed that attacks against women are common in Morocco.

In 2018 the government passed a law criminalising violence against women including a ban on forced marriage, sexual harassment in public places, and tougher penalties for certain forms of violence.

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