By Sapha Bouamara
By Sapha Bouamara
Rabat – Two Moroccans were sentenced to prison for “homosexuality”in Fqih Bensaleh. Their sentences were reduced after their defense lawyer said his clients were “victims of society.”
Last May, a tribunal in the north-western city of Fkih Ben Saleh, 120 miles (200 kilometers) from Casablanca, sentenced six Moroccan men to three years imprisonment for “homosexuality.” On July 3, two of the defendants had their penalties reduced, according to the Spanish News agency EFE.
The two defendants won the right of appeal against the judgement of the court, while Mr. Hadda Maidar, the lawyer representing the two defendants, demanded that his clients be freed. He claimed in his argument that the defendants are “ill”and need to be “treated”in a rehabilitation center and that they are “victims of their society.”
The lawyer didn’t speak about the other four men. One of the convicted men received a reduced penalty of ten months instead of three years, while the other received a penalty of six months instead of two years.
The Spanish news agency noted that no Moroccan NGO, not even the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH), which is the most active in defending people’s freedom, had cared about defending these men.
The May incident
In May 2014, the six unidentified defendants were charged with “homosexuality,”“prostitution,”“public intoxication,”and “driving while intoxicated.”
They were arrested after one of their fathers filed a complaint with the police. The father accused his son’s friends of “encouraging”him of“having deviant behaviour.” Later the police found text messages on the defendant’s phone that allegedly substantiated the “crime.”
Articles 71 and 489 of the Moroccan penal code punish all sexual acts between members of the same sex with a penalty of three years imprisonment.