Rabat – The Moroccan police arrested a young man and woman in Marrakesh on Wednesday for kissing in public. Police stated that they were arrested for “the exchange of kisses during the day in Ramadan.”
Students’ rights activist Omar Arbib told El Mundo that the two youths were kissing in a secluded area near a building in the Guéliz neighborhood when a police patrol surprised them. They were detained, taken to police headquarters, and sent to be interrogated by public prosecution authorities.
In Morocco, Article 222 of the Penal Code mandates that Muslims that break the Ramadan fast in public may be punished with one to six months in prison and a fine. The fast includes abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and sexual relations between the hours of dawn and dusk.
Since the beginning of Ramadan, Moroccan police and citizens have enforced this law multiple times. A man in Marrakesh was beaten by a group of youths on Monday for smoking during fasting hours, and two porters from Zagora will be tried in court today for drinking water in public earlier this week.