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3 years in Morocco prison for LGBTs: 2 sentenced, 2 on trial

Gay Maroc reports on the cases of four recent victims of Morocco’s anti-homosexuality laws — two men who face a court hearing on May 13 on charges of “undermining public morality” and two who were sentenced May 6 to three years in prison for homosexual activity. Translated from French:

Beginning of the trial of two homosexuals in Temara

Surprised “in flagrante delicto,” they did not deny their homosexuality and face between six months and three years in prison for “undermining public morality.” The hearing was postponed to Monday.

The two young men arraigned last week for crimes of homosexuality, appeared Wednesday [May 5] before the Court of First Instance of Rabat, according to the Spanish news agency EFE.

They were surprised “in flagrante delicto” while expressing their homosexuality at a police checkpoint. EFE quoted judicial sources as saying that the two men — a 28-year-old engineer and the other a 20-year-old — were in a car parked in a public garden at the time of their arrest car.

Officially charged with “undermining public morality,” their hearing was postponed until Monday, according to the same source. They face between six months and three years in prison and a fine of up to 1,000 dirhams [US$117] as provided for in section 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code.

It would not be the only case of homosexuality treated by the Moroccan justice this week.

The Arabic daily Al Akhbar reported yesterday that two men were sentenced Monday to 3 years in prison at Souk Al Arbaa (100 kilometers north of Rabat) and a fine of 1,000 dirhams each for their homosexuality — the maximum penalty. They have maintained a relationship for ten years, although each was married.

Their relationship reportedly ended up in court after one of the pair accused the other of having sex with him in his sleep.  The men’s wives then sought the maximum sentence on their unfaithful husbands, according to Al Akhbar.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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