Morocco adopts law on violence against women

Hassima Hakkaoui, the minister of family affairs, women and solidarity hails a law to combat violence against women adopted by the Moroccan Parliament. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 14 February 2018
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Morocco adopts law on violence against women

RABAT: The Moroccan parliament on Wednesday, after months of heated debate, adopted a law first drafted five years ago to combat violence against women.
“Thank God!” Bassima Hakkaoui, the minister of family affairs, women and solidarity, wrote on her Facebook page, after the law first drafted in 2013 was ratified by a vote of 112 for, 55 against and one abstention.
Her department said the law, for the first time in Morocco, criminalizes “acts considered forms of harassment, aggression, sexual exploitation or ill treatment” of women.
Commentators on social media noted that the law finally passed on Saint Valentine’s Day.
In a society divided between conservative and progressive strands, violence against women, especially in public, is often highlighted in the media and by rights groups.
It became a hot issue last August after a video was posted on the Internet showing a young woman on a bus being sexually molested by a group of boys without the driver or other passengers reacting to her appeals for help.
Women’s organizations said the law passed on Wednesday did not go far enough.
It “makes no mention of the problem of marital rape,” pointed out a Moroccan association which campaigns for the protection of women.
More than 40 percent of women living in towns and aged between 18 and 64 who took part in a survey carried out by Morocco’s High Commission for Planning said they had been “victims of an act of violence at least once.”


Khamenei blames Rouhani for economic crisis in Iran

Updated 14 August 2018
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Khamenei blames Rouhani for economic crisis in Iran

  • Khamenei’s statement was an apparent attempt to deflect public anger over the plunging worth of the rial
  • Thousands of Iranians have protested in recent weeks against sharp rises in the prices of some food items, a lack of jobs and state corruption

LONDON: Iran’s supreme leader on Monday accused President Hassan Rouhani’s government of mismanagement, after a string of angry public protests over the dire state of the economy. 

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s statement was an apparent attempt to deflect public anger over the plunging worth of the rial — the currency has lost about half of its value since April — and wider economic woes due to tough new US sanctions on Tehran.

“More than the sanctions, economic mismanagement is putting pressure on ordinary Iranians ... I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management,” Khamenei said.

The leader’s speech adds to the growing pressure on Iran’s beleaguered government. Aside from the economic concerns, footage of protests indicates a more fundamental dissatisfaction with the regime, with chants of slogans such as “death to the dictator” and demands for an end to Iran’s costly regional interventions in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen while Iranians suffer economic pain.

The Iranian leader also ruled out any talks with the US, following last week’s reimposition of sanctions after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program.

Thousands of Iranians have protested in recent weeks against sharp rises in the prices of some food items, a lack of jobs and state corruption.

The rial has lost about half of its value since April in anticipation of the renewed US sanctions, driven mainly by heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings.

Meanwhile, Iran on Monday unveiled a next generation short-range ballistic missile. State broadcaster IRIB said the new Fateh Mobin missile had “successfully passed its tests” and could strike targets on land and sea. Previous versions of the missile had a range of about 200 to 300 kilometers.

Theodore Karasik, a security analyst and senior adviser to Gulf State Analytics in Washington, said Iran was developing a “robust” defense industry despite the country’s “severe” economic problems.

“The missile is launched from a mobile launcher that provides for denial and deception tactics to hide such launchers from overhead surveillance … much like the Houthi militias are doing in Yemen,” he said.