Tangier Court of Appeal upholds death penalty for killer-rapist

The criminal chamber near the Court of Appeal in Tangier, confirmed this Wednesday the death penalty for the killer and rapist of Adnane Boucharouf.

The culprit, who led to the death of little Adnane was thus sentenced to the death penalty for rape, premeditated murder, embezzlement of a minor, sexual abuse and mutilation of a corpse.

According to article 474 of the Moroccan penal code, the kidnapping of a minor is punishable by death if the victim is murdered.

Three people were also sentenced to 4 months in prison each, with a fine of 1000 dirhams, for not reporting a crime.

Little Adnane was declared “missing” by his family on September 7 and his body was discovered four days later, buried near the family home in Tangier.

Research and investigations by elements of the National Security on the disappearance of this 11-year-old minor had revealed that it was a criminal disappearance, especially since the viewing of video recordings had demonstrated the alleged involvement of ‘an individual who dragged the victim near his family home.

Neighborhood cameras captured some of the boy’s final moments, who was persuaded to follow the 24-year-old assailant to his apartment, where he allegedly raped him, before taking him near his home and murdering him .

During his trial, the assassin claimed that he did not rape the boy and did not intend to kill him, but that he kidnapped him only for money. The killer reportedly sent a message to the victim’s father asking for a ransom.

Strong mobilization and royal support

A few days after the discovery of Adnane’s body, King Mohammed VI condemned the “heinous crime” and offered his condolences to the family of the victim. A number of senior officials visited the family to offer their condolences last year.

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Shortly after details of Adnane’s murder surfaced, a petition, which reached 400,000 signatures in three days, was launched calling for the death penalty to be imposed on the accused in order to deter d others to commit similar crimes.

A viral social media campaign using the hashtags “justice for Adnane” and “execution for the murderer of Adnane” sparked a wave of sympathy for the victim in Morocco and abroad.

In the same month of Bouchouf’s murder, a court in Tangier sentenced a couple to death for their involvement in the murder of a seven-year-old child in Larache in 2019.

The cases renewed calls on authorities to do more to protect children and help those missing.

A case that revives the debate

Morocco has not carried out any executions since 1993. However, the North African state has handed down death sentences since then, with at least 10 people sentenced to death in 2018 and more than 93 still in the condemned quarter. dead.

In November, the Moroccan National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) called on the Moroccan authorities to vote against the death penalty in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.

The CNDH has repeatedly called for the removal of the death penalty from the penal code. Morocco’s latest constitution, adopted in 2011, stipulates that the law protects “The right to life [en tant que] first right of every human being ”.

Between 2000 and 2019, 119 death row inmates received a royal pardon and their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment or fixed-term sentences.

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