Two Moroccan women, aged 19 and 23, are on trial for dressing indecently and have found themselves with more representation than they can possibly handle. After being arrested for “gross indecency” for “too tight” dresses in June, the women have become controversial figures in the community, with their arrests sparking protests and hundreds of lawyers registering to defend them.
According to Raw Story, over 500 lawyers signed up to argue for the women during the trial (the verdict of which will be passed down next week) but only 200 were able to speak due to the space constraints of the courtroom. The hundreds chosen to defend, however, have been putting forth argument after argument about how ridiculous the women’s arrests are—and how unjust it is that the two women may face up to two years in prison for dressing too provocatively for the conservative city of Agadir.
The trial has also sparked public outrage, with many out protesting in the street.
Meanwhile, in the courtroom, lawyers are asking Morocco to “amend its laws” in order to respect “human rights and individual freedoms.” While the case doesn’t seem like it’s going to be an easy win, the local and international support and attention the accused women are receiving suggests that Morocco’s government will have at least some obligation to take the human rights implications of this trial seriously.
Contact the author at email@example.com.
Image via Shutterstock