Hundreds of Moroccan men attending an election conference in the north African Arab country last week attacked and severely beat up a girl, mistaking her for a man who was molesting another girl, press reports said on Wednesday.
Chadia suffers from a hormone imbalance that makes her look like more like a man than a woman.
She has always suffered from the way people look at her, but her ordeal culminated on Sunday when she accompanied her niece to an election conference in the northeastern port of Nador.
Chadia, who covered her body and face to avoid annoying looks, entered the packed conference hall with her niece and took an isolated seat.
During the event, Chadia put her arm around her little niece’s neck and hugged her.
“Once she did that, hundreds of people pounced on Chadia, punching and kicking her thinking she was a man trying to molest a child. Police intervened but could not stop them. After she was severely beaten, police took her to their centre thinking she is a man,” the Moroccan Arabic language daily Hespress said.
The paper said the attackers were not deterred by Chadia’s screams that she is a woman not a man and by her niece’s pleas that the woman is her aunt.
It quoted doctors as saying Chadia suffered from physical injury that requires treatment for 20 days, adding that she would not pardon the assailants.
“Following that incident, Chadia took an immediate decision to stay at home until death,” it said.