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Women’s rights coalition demands action after online threats, fatwas silence activists

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A coalition of 32 women’s rights organizations has condemned a wave of violence and threats targeting Moroccan women’s rights activists following their participation in the public debate on the revision of the family code.

The threats, which include online messages, speeches, and fatwas, have been described as “hate-filled” and aimed at silencing women’s voices and preventing them from engaging in public debate on issues of concern to them.

In an open letter to the Prosecutor General, the coalition, known as the Coordination for Comprehensive and Deep Change of the Family Code, expressed its deep concern about the situation. 

The letter states that the threats have reached a level of seriousness that requires urgent intervention from the state.

“In addition to all forms of insults and defamation that undermine women’s human dignity, which we witness daily on various social media platforms, a group of women activists received digital messages on March 28, 2024, containing serious terrorist threats against them,” the statement said. 

The coalition points out that the threats not only endanger the safety of the activists and their families but also violate their right to freedom of expression and opinion. 

“These threats came from a group of individuals who threatened them with murder and revenge against their children and family members, using intimidating language indicating that there are surveillance and stalking practices targeting these women activists and their families,” the statement pointed out.

They further said that the threats undermine social peace and jeopardize the constitutional and legal gains made by Morocco in the field of human rights.

The letter called on the Prosecutor General to take all necessary measures to investigate the threats and bring the perpetrators to justice. It also urges the authorities to provide protection to the targeted activists and their families.

The coalition’s statement comes as it emerges that at least nine complaints have been filed by women activists in connection with the threats. The National Judicial Police Brigade has already begun interviewing the victims.

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