NEWS

Moroccan Teenage Girls Facing Jail Over ‘Lesbian Kiss’

They could be jailed for up to 3 years

04/11/2016 12:21 | Updated 04 November 2016

Two teenage girls in Morocco are due to appear in court on Friday on homosexuality charges after they were allegedly caught kissing.

The girls, aged 16 and 17, were arrested after they were seen on the roof of a house in Marrakech last week, Omar Arbib, an activist at the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (MAHR), told CNN.

They were released on bail but will now stand trial under Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code which states “any person who ‘commits a lewd and unnatural act’ with an individual of the same sex may be sentenced to six months to three years of imprisonment.”

Arbib told AFP: “They were caught kissing and hugging on the roof of a house in Hay Mohammadi district.”

The girls were photographed and the image was sent to the family who informed the police, resulting in their arrest on the same day, he added.

He reiterated calls for the abolishment of Article 489, saying: “individuals cannot be punished based on their sexual inclination.”

The Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties (MALI) is also following the case.

It is tweeting messages of support, including a photo of founders Zineb El Rhazoui and Ibtissame Lachgar sitting entwined, with the statement: “We are heterosexual and we support LGBT rights.”

Speaking to French magazine Cheek, Lachgar called for a sexual revolution: “In a country that practices state homophobia, fighting for the decriminalisation of homosexuality (and in favour of sexual freedom in general) is a long struggle. 

“A sexual revolution is needed: A sexual revolution that would guarantee equality between women and men. Homosexuality is not a choice, it is the order of nature.”

Lachgar told Al Aoual: “Lesbians are not recognised in a male dominated society. Women are recognised as for fun with and having children only, as if they were the private property of a man.

“Women start to believe that their bodies are not their own, but belong to men. So many women do not love their bodies because of this and so we are defending their sexual and reproductive rights. In contrast there are women who do love their bodies and also love the bodies of other women.”

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