The sad fate of the child Adnane, raped and killed in the city of Tangier, has revived the debate on the application of the death penalty (death penalty).
This atrocity has shaken public opinion, already marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the death penalty is not abolished in Morocco, it is not applied. Today, its application has become a growing demand within society with the proliferation of this type of business.
However, Morocco has ratified several international agreements (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which prohibits the death penalty or the Convention on the Rights of the Child). He cannot therefore apply the death penalty even if it is pronounced. They are still awaiting their execution on death row.
Should the death penalty be applied for crimes of rape of children? Does the application of the death penalty lead to a decline in democracy and human rights in the country? Can the application of the death penalty in this type of case put an end to this type of crime?
Several questions to which Me Khadija El Amrani, lawyer at the Casablanca Bar, but also president of the Association agreed to answer ” Wlady“, In an interview with Hespress Fr. For the lawyer, the death penalty must be applied against the rapist of Adnane.
The Adnane affair has become that of all of Morocco. What does the law say in this situation?
Khadija El Amrani: I have a very strong position on the issue. First, the conviction of the accused in the Adnane case will be for capital punishment. Article 474 of the Penal Code is very clear. He says that when there is child abduction, and murder follows, automatically capital punishment is applied. (Penal Code – Article 474: In the cases provided for in Articles 471 and 473, kidnapping is punished by death if it was followed by the death of the minor (editor’s note)). There is no case law with the existence of clear text.
Indeed, there will be a death sentence, therefore a death sentence will be pronounced. Now we do not have the evidence for the trial. It is the criminal trial which will indicate what are the other elements that we do not have today.
The big question that arises, namely that per year, we have thousands of death sentences which are pronounced against several criminals. But there has been no execution since 1993 (Tabit case). The execution is suspended. And these sentences are transformed into life imprisonment.
When Adnane’s criminal is still alive, which sows terror in my life, in your life, even if we know neither Adnane nor her family… we are afraid for our children. We are afraid to send them to the local supermarket even if they are 14 or 15 years old.
Today, it is a great debate which opens with this trial. What do we do with the death penalty? Should it be applied or not? Knowing that I have been working on fundamental and individual freedoms for a very long time. I am against the principle of the death penalty. But I am for the death penalty conviction for atrocious crimes and which I qualify as terrorists because they create fear.
My opinion is decided on the question. This type of crime must be condemned and it must be executed with dignity. That is to say, I do not agree with the mistreatment of the criminal.
Are there studies that say that applying the death penalty in a country does not decrease the crime rate?
I do not agree, and I cite as an example China, where I spent a long time. And believe me, they solved the problem of pedophilia. There is no longer even a need to apply the death penalty frequently, it is very rare that this happens.
It would seem according to several inhabitants of the country, that children were very often kidnapped 20 or 30 years ago. Their hand was cut off to beg with it.
The day the criminals were hanged in the public square, the people who confided in me assured me that they had never heard of a kidnapped child. While it has been 20 years or more since the criminals were hanged. Today you can lose your child in China, you will find him alive and well.
That is to say, when faced with ignorance, we have no choice. We must speak the same language.
NGOs and associations which defend human rights say that one cannot fight a crime with another crime (death penalty according to them)? What do you think ?
It is human rights that have killed human rights today. I am not for the crime no longer.
I am telling you today that there will be one after Adnane. There will be a change. This little one is gone, and there is a sacrifice behind. This boy has left to open a great national debate which must be decided once and for all. And believe me the question is not at all simple.
Why associations refuse the application of the death penalty, which is legitimate. It is the risk of error that is very serious. We can not be wrong about the quality of the criminal unfortunately.
If we had applied the death penalty for the trial of Omar Raddad, it would have been very serious. He would be dead and unjustly. That is to say that there is the presumption of innocence which is the first barrier in the application of the Penal Code, in any case of the death penalty.
What I want to tell you is that today we have to think carefully about the question. This amount of pedophilia that we hear every day. It’s dramatic. I often get things like this, I just cry with people. I can no longer receive similar cases. It only happens to others. But the others are us. Tomorrow we can live that too.
STOP equals STOP. You have to give meaning to the event. Maybe Adnane’s killer won’t be executed. But when the next ones are actually executed, I can assure you that the criminals will be deterred and will not take action.
In working-class or middle-class neighborhoods, children go out into the streets, some even being left to their own devices all day long. Isn’t it time to put parents in front of their responsibilities and also blame them for inattention?
Many times our children go to the local supermarket or walk home from school. We don’t all have the means to have a driver, or to pick them up ourselves from school. Today, I do not think that it is the fault of the parents of the victim, who registered their child in Karate etc. In my opinion, it is the fault of the parents of the criminal (lack of love, lack of sex education …).
Today there is a great national debate which was to start a long time ago. We have all closed our eyes to horrible suffering. And it is dramatic. And today, it is time to break the taboo, lift the veil and say: We must apply the penalties provided for in the Penal Code. There is nothing complicated. And the penal code is clear on this.
Personally, I am a great activist for human rights, for parity etc. But in matters of pedophilia, kidnapping and murder, I want us to be tough.
And for the agreements ratified by Morocco for the non-application of the death penalty?
I will speak a language that is not legal. But frankly. ” I do not care “. I think that today Morocco is not ready for human rights as has been done in Europe. European human rights have reached a certain level of maturity. And maturity comes from popular consciousness, comes from popular education.
Capital punishment worked well in the Tabit case. Today, no police officer or other senior official will abuse a woman. The sexual abuse of police authority is over. Since the Tabit affair, I have never heard of such a story.
At some point, you have to say stop. We must set an example. I am not today incriminating the thief of Adnane. He will not pay for everything else, he will not become collateral damage for everyone else, especially since we are in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, of confinement, so we are very angry.
We take all these parameters into consideration. But we must know that the coronavirus has come to remind us of the importance of the child. Either we understood that, and we will wake up and tell ourselves that the child is the future of tomorrow, the society of tomorrow. And we are going to become aware of that and protect our children and the children of others, and we are going to have civic solidarity against anyone who is going to touch childhood and at a very high level. Either we are going to massacre this country and massacre a whole generation.
Hand in hand, we have to put in place a children’s code. We must protect the child, and provide him with all the protection he needs. And when I say child it’s child with a big ” E “. Whether it is my brother or my son, I would like him to receive the death penalty. It is unacceptable. You have to be radical, and I am personally intransigent on this issue.