Rabat - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticized the jailing of two Moroccan men accused of homosexuality and public indecency.
Rabat – Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticized the jailing of two Moroccan men accused of homosexuality and public indecency.
The international organization said this week that the pair was convicted based on police “confessions” made in pre-trial detention,” adding that the defendants are believed to have repudiated before the judge and that the court called no witnesses to testify.
The two defendants were arrested on December 13th, 2014. They were initially sentenced by the First Instance Court in the northern city of al Hoceima to three years in prison and a fine for committing a “deviant sexual act with a member of the same sex.”
The court reduced the sentences for a student in his 20s to six months and one year for an elected local official in his 50s, who was also convicted of attempted bribery.
Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director, criticized the Moroccan justice for sentencing the two men, calling the trial “unfair.”
“The combination of a state that enforces sodomy laws, a justice system that denies a fair trial, and the social stigma attached to homosexuality is a formula for damaging people’s lives,” she said.
Moroccan law outlaws same-sex sexual activity, with a maximum possible sentence of 3 years and a fine of up to 1,000 Dirhams.