Rabat – Moroccan activist Ahmed Assid has sparked controversy over his remarks against citizens who are calling for the death penalty for the man who raped and murdered an 11-year-old boy named Adnane in Tangier.
Social networks have become a platform for Moroccan citizens and public figures to share their anger towards the man who kidnapped, raped, and murdered Adnane on September 7.
The case enraged citizens who are calling for the death penalty for the killer, while others demand he be severely punished with life in prison.
Amazigh activist Ahmed Assid, however, slammed the Moroccans who asked for the death penalty for Adnane’s killer.
In a post on Facebook, the activist acknowledged that the killer’s crimes are “heinous” and the condemnation is a “natural thing.”
اغتيال براءة طفل وحرمانه من حقه في الحياة جريمة نكراء في غاية البشاعة، واستنكار الجميع لها أمر طبيعي، وتعبئتنا من أجل…
He believes, however, that Moroccans calling for his death are “no less brutal than the monster they want revenge against.”
Assid believes that people calling for Adnane’s killer to be put to death are showing the “extent of the anger and violence” inside them, which is not a “solution to the problem.”
Moroccans hit back at his critique, taking to the comments of his Facebook post to respond.
This is not the first time Ahmed Assid has stirred controversy in Morocco over his statements.
The Amazigh activist and author of several books on Amazigh culture has previously made headlines due to his controversial remarks on religion and language.
The murder of Adnane reignited Moroccan’s fear of and frustration with the increase in cases of pedophilia in Morocco.
In recent years, Moroccan police arrested several suspects on charges of pedophilia, with some high-profile cases garnering international attention.
A more recent case occurred on Saturday, when police in Tangier arrested a suspect for his alleged intent to kidnap and assault an 11-year-old boy.
Police determined that the man established a relationship with the minor via Facebook, before attempting to meet him.
In coordination with the victim’s father, police arrested the man as he was trying to meet the boy and seduce him with gifts.
Another arrest took place in May, when police arrested a pediatrician suspected of raping and exploiting minors in Temara, a suburb of Rabat.
Articles 486 and 488 of Morocco’s Criminal Code stipulate that rape or attempted rape of children under the age of 18 is punishable with 10 to 20 years in prison.
However, Article 474 of Morocco’s penal code stipulates that the kidnapping of a minor is punishable with the death penalty if the victim dies.