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Moroccan LGBT man claims police abuse, officers sanctioned

Moroccan LGBT man claims police abuse, officers sanctioned

Morocco

Chafik Lafrid, 33, said his life become ‘‘hell’‘ when he went out on December 31 last year dressed like a woman.

The Moroccan gay man claims that he was abused by police and vilified on social media when his image was posted to the internet.

The humiliating scene, has been viewed millions of times on the internet. The video shows a handcuffed man walking barefoot and surrounded by police.  He was escorted by a crowd of onlookers who filmed and insulted him without any reaction from the police. 

My life was turned upside down, before I went out normally, I lived quietly, I had a coffee, I did my shopping ... Today, I can not do it anymore because people insult me ​​in the street.

A few minutes earlier, Chafik Lafrid was driving on a busy avenue in Marrakech, while returning from a party when a scooter hits his car. Marrakech is mostly visited by tourists and known for its unbridled nightlife.

“ When I had the accident, I was wearing an evening dress, a wig and makeup. This is why I did not get out of the car when the police arrived“ , he recalled.

At the police station, an agent took pictures of him and his identity and was then authorized to return home. The police report was in relation to the road accident. 

The next day, the images of his arrest including the photos taken by the police and his personal documents went viral on social networks and in some media outlets, triggering ‘a storm ‘ of comments.

‘‘My life was turned upside down, before I went out normally, I lived quietly, I had a coffee, I did my shopping … Today, I can not do it anymore because people insult me ​​in the street because all my personal data have been disseminated on the Internet “, he told AFP.

He said his relationship with his parents was ‘broken’ as they were in the dark about his sexuality.

The North African nation criminalizes same sex relationships.

“Really homophobia is something unfortunately, everyday here in Morocco, and many people LGBT asylum seekers and many people have already left”, said Ibtissam Lachgar, co-founder of the Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties (Mali).

Chafik is seeking the assistance of the Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties so he can leave his country.

AFP said the police management sanctioned four officials for ‘’ disseminating his personal data’‘ and ‘’ breach of professional obligations’‘.

The Moroccan penal code stipulates 6 months to 3 years imprisonment for homosexuality. According to official figures, 197 people were prosecuted under this act in 2017.

AFP

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