Moroccans are up in arms over the release of two French men arrested for engaging in homosexual activities.
Homosexuality is considered a crime and punishable by imprisonment in the north African country as in many other countries in Africa.
On March 25, a YouTube video showed two naked men, with blood on their faces, being violently assaulted before being dragged into the street.
Morocco Leaves Paroled Two Homosexuals To International Pressure: The international pressure and poor image co… https://t.co/kbZ0X3S1Fh
— VOFN Morocco (@vofnmorocco) April 12, 2016
Several people alleged to be involved in their attack have been arrested and jailed. Their family members are demanding their release.
“This is an unfair judgment, the homosexuals were acquitted and the young people are going to jail. These two are the ones who have caused this scandal. Our children were sentenced to 6 months and 4 months in jail,” said Youssef Ousayn, a brother of one of the accused.
The mother of Ferhat Salah who who has been jailed for 4 months said: “I asked to check the video which was posted on the Internet”. If my son were in it he can even be jailed for 10 years. My son does not appear in the video but he has been sentenced to 6 months in prison.”
The arrest and subsequent trial of the two men has reignited calls for a repeal of section 489 of the Morocco’s Criminal Code of 1962, which specifies that “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 and fined 200-1000 Moroccan dirhams (21 -102 US dollars).