Female Minors Arrested for Homosexuality in Marrakesh Released Temporarily

Rabat – The two female minors arrested in Marrakesh on charges of “homosexuality” last week have been afforded a temporary release, according to a new report by Telquel.Sanaa and Hajar – who had been arrested on Thursday last week – will still face a Moroccan court on Friday, November 4th, according to the Free Feminist Union (UFL).Omar Arbib of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights said the two girls had been arrested after a relative saw them kissing in a house in Hay Mohammadi of the coastal tourist city. The UFL originally spread news of the arrest to the Moroccan media, saying the two girls had been held in a prison instead of a correctional facility for minors.As of Wednesday, the girls’ family members had not been informed of inmate visiting times, but had been instructed to bring identifying documents to a police station in Marrakesh.Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code punishes sexual activities between people of the same sex with a prison sentence that could range between six months to three years as well as a fine ranging from MAD 120 to MAD 1,200. The same article also asserts that heterosexual sexual relations out of wedlock are punishable by law.Homosexual couples have been arrested and charged several times this year, all over Morocco, including Casablanca and Beni Mellal. The Beni Mellal incident included several locals who forcibly entered the home of a citizen to beat him for engaging in homosexual activities. read more