Middle East / North Africa

Arrest of 2 girls highlights Morocco’s anti-LGBT persecution

Aswat published this image as part of its campaign seeking the dismissal of charges against two teenage girls accused of homosexuality. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Aswat published this image as part of its campaign seeking the dismissal of charges against two teenage girls accused of homosexuality. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

The recent arrests of two teenage Moroccan girls for alleged homosexuality is part of a much larger problem, the Moroccan LGBT collective Aswat says.

International attention has focused on Morocco’s anti-LGBT law because two teenage girls, ages 16 and 17, were arrested in Marrakesh after a relative photographed them kissing on a rooftop. The relative denounced them to their families, who turned them over to police on Oct. 27.

The girls were detained for about a week before they were released on bail to await court action.

The larger problem, according to Aswat, is ongoing persecution of LGBT community members. In the first three months this year, Aswat recorded 19 cases of prosecution for “homosexual perversion,” the Moroccan news website TelQuel reported. Aswat did not release further details.

Those 19 people  were prosecuted under Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code, which considers “licentious acts” and “acts against nature with an individual of the same sex” to be crimes. Aswat called for the repeal of that law.

According to the collective, police arrested suspected homosexuals, prepared statements about them and forced them to sign the statements without reading them.  The homes of some of the arrestees were searched by police without their consent, Aswat stated.  Transgender people have also been arrested, Aswat said.

Under Article 489, same-sex intimacy is punishable by up to three years in prison.

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One thought on “Arrest of 2 girls highlights Morocco’s anti-LGBT persecution

  1. Pingback: 100s in jail for being gay | 76 CRIMES

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