On the run

Star of banned film on Moroccan sex industry flees after beating

ANGOULEME, FRANCE - AUGUST 30: Loubna Abidar attends the 8th Angouleme French-Speaking Film Festival : Closing Ceremony on August 30, 2015 in Angouleme, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

According to posts on her Facebook page, actress Loubna Abidar has sought refuge in France after a severe beating in Casablanca last week for her role in Much Loved, a controversial film about the sex tourism industry in North Africa. The film was panned by government officials, who in May banned it from Moroccan theaters. According to Abidar, police officers and doctors refused to provide aid after the beating by unidentified assailants. “No [police officer] and no doctor would take care of me. Everyone mocked me and said, ‘Finally, Abidar! You got beaten,’” she said in the video. “All this for a film you haven’t seen; you’ve only seen what people have put on the Internet. God help me.” Following the inaction of Moroccan authorities, the actress said she has since fled to France.

Morocco’s tourism sector depends in part on sex work and Much Loved sparked discussion about the industry, which then prompted the government to release data on sex workers for the first time. This year, the Health Ministries in Rabat, Tangier, Fez and Agadir reported that there were 19,333 sex workers in 2011.

Read the full story at Al Jazeera America.

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