6 arrests after Morocco bus sex attack sparks outrage

In this file photo, a Moroccan woman walking down a street in the old part of the port city of Tangiers. (AFP)
Updated 22 August 2017
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6 arrests after Morocco bus sex attack sparks outrage

RABAT: Six teenage suspects were arrested in Morocco on Monday after video footage of young men reportedly sexually molesting a woman on a bus caused widespread outrage on social networks.
A Moroccan police statement reported the arrests of the six aged between 15 and 17 after the incident in the kingdom’s economic capital Casablanca.
In the footage posted on Sunday, six bare-chested teenagers are seen assaulting a weeping young woman and laughing as they touch her private parts.
The half-stripped victim is seen crying out in distress as no passenger intervenes to help her and the bus fails to come to a halt.
Public transport company M’Dina Bus said the incident happened on Friday.
The police statement said the 24-year-old woman suffers from a mental handicap, and that no complaint was filed by either the victim or the driver before the video was released.
The latest incident comes less than two weeks after footage of men hounding a young woman walking alone in the northern city of Tangier was shared widely on social media, sparking a heated debate in the North African country.
Media headlines about Friday’s assault included “Horror in Casablanca” and “Monsters commit an odious crime” as reports focused on the phenomenon of women being harassed in public places.
There were calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, and for a Casablanca sit-in on Wednesday.
Official figures show that nearly two-thirds of Moroccan women have suffered violent attacks, often in public places.


Turkey’s jailed pro-Kurdish candidate in first TV appearance for 20 months

Updated 17 June 2018
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Turkey’s jailed pro-Kurdish candidate in first TV appearance for 20 months

  • Selahattin Demirtas, who has been in detention for close to 20 months on security charges and faces a sentence of up to 142 years if convicted
  • One of Turkey’s best-known politicians, he has had to run his campaign mostly through social media

ANKARA: The jailed presidential candidate for Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition made his first television appearance in over a year and a half on Sunday, giving a campaign speech ahead of next week’s elections.
Selahattin Demirtas, who has been in detention for close to 20 months on security charges and faces a sentence of up to 142 years if convicted, was nominated by his Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as a candidate last month.
One of Turkey’s best-known politicians, he has had to run his campaign mostly through social media from his prison cell in the northwestern city of Edirne, while Turkish media have been saturated with coverage of President Tayyip Erdogan and his ministers.
Speaking on state broadcaster TRT in a scheduled 10-minute address, to which he is entitled under election law, Demirtas said voting for Erdogan and his ruling AK Party would mean putting the fate of the country “between one man’s two lips.”
“The only reason I am still here is that the AKP is scared of me. They think tying my hands here and going from square to square spreading accusations about me is being courageous,” a visibly thinner Demirtas said.
“They are openly violating the constitution by declaring me guilty even though there is no conviction ruling against me, and are trying to direct the public by misinforming them,” he said.
The snap parliamentary and presidential elections on Sunday will herald the switch to the new powerful executive presidency narrowly approved in a referendum last year.
In previous elections, Demirtas won votes beyond his core Kurdish constituency, and is likely to draw significant backing in the first round of the presidential vote, while boosting the prospects of his party entering parliament.
Demirtas’s HDP arranged a viewing of his speech in Istanbul’s Bakirkoy Square, where hundreds of supporters gathered to watch.
“You should have no doubt that I will be acquitted in front of the law as soon as possible. So long as the judicial authorities follow the superiority of the law and not the government’s expectations,” Demirtas said, as supporters cheered and waved flags.