Morocco: Amid LGBT rights campaign, prison for 6

Location of Fkih Ben Salah in Morocco (Map courtesy of Google)
Location of Fqih Bensalah in Morocco (Map courtesy of Google)

Six Moroccan men were sentenced May 14 in Fqih Bensalah to penalties of up to three years in prison for being homosexuals and violations related to sex and alcohol.
The verdict coincided with a campaign for the repeal of Morocco’s anti-gay law.
The six men were arrested April 17 for homosexuality and several other charges — alleged “incitement to prostitution,” driving while intoxicated and being “drunk on the street,” activist Ahmed Amine Chaabi of the Moroccan League for the Defense of Human Rights told Agence France-Presse/Le Monde.
Click on the image for the blog's list of 168 people in prison or awaiting trial for homosexuality.
Click on the image for the blog’s list of 168+ people in prison or awaiting trial for homosexuality.

The Moroccan news site H24info reported that one man was sentenced to three years in prison without parole, which is the maximum sentence under Morocco’s anti-gay law. Another was sentenced to two years without parole; two others, to two years with possibility of parole; the remaining two, to  one year with possibility of parole.
The court ordered that they be expelled from the town at the end of their prison terms, “in accordance with Article 41 of the Moroccan criminal law.”
The six men were arrested after the father of one of the men filed suit against three members of the group, accusing them of encouraging his 19-year-old son to become homosexual and saying it was influencing his behavior and his studies, Chaabi said, as quoted in Al-Akhbar.
The verdict coincided with the “Love is Not a Crime” campaign for the repeal of Morocco’s anti-gay law. Al-Akhbar said:

"Love Is Not a Crime," says the Arabic text on this photo from Aswat Magazine.
“Love Is Not a Crime,” says the Arabic text on this photo from Aswat Magazine.

Moroccan civil society activists have called for homosexuality to be decriminalized in a video posted on the Internet ahead of the international day against homophobia on May 17.
In the video, part of the campaign “Love Is Not a Crime” launched by the group Aswat (“Voice” in Arabic), six civil society activists appealed against homophobia.
“People have the right to make their choice, to do what they want with their bodies as long as they don’t harm others,” said the writer Abdallah Bida.
But members of the Party of Justice and Development, the Islamist party that heads the coalition government, have strongly criticized the campaign.
PJD deputy Amina Maa el-Ainein on Tuesday urged the minister of Islamic affairs to take action against it.
“These messages which praise homosexuality are not only harmful to our Muslim culture but amount to breaking the law,” she told parliament.


Enhanced by Zemanta

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 Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

Leave a Reply

Nigeria: #BringBackOurGirls, but jail our gays?

2 Moroccan students to prison for 'feminine appearance'