Rabat - A Moroccan court released two men who were convicted of homosexuality on Monday after they were attacked by locals with knives in a private residence in Beni Mellal last month.
Rabat – A Moroccan court released two men who were convicted of homosexuality on Monday after they were attacked by locals with knives in a private residence in Beni Mellal last month.
Homosexuality usually carries a jail sentence in Morocco, according to article 489 of the national penal code.
Out of the four attackers who also faced the court on the same day, two were acquitted, while two others were convicted of forced entry, resorting to violence, and carrying weapons and were handed prison sentences: one for six-months of jailtime and another for four months.
The fifth attacker will be tried on a separate date in a minors’ court, according to a report by The Daily Mail.
Residents of Beni Mellal gathered around the court to demand the release of the incarcerated attackers after the sentencing.
The March 9th attacks against the victims were captured on a video, which was released on YouTube late last month. In the clip, the attackers are seen targeting the two men with knives and verbal abuses in an apartment in which one of the victims legally resided.
The police arrested one of the victims on the day of the attacks, while the second victim was taken into custody the same day the graphic video of the incident was released.
During the hearing, Moroccan forces arrested and later deported two radical feminist activists from FEMEN France who toplessly protested the kingdom’s criminalization of homosexuality.
The court sentenced the first arrested victim to four months in jail for “acts against nature”, but after the man’s appeal hearing yesterday, the judge released him on time served.
The other victim got handed a four-month suspended sentence for “sexual deviancy.”
In August, a court in the country’s capitol sentenced two men to four months in prison for beating up a presumed homosexual because of his appearance.
Earlier last summer, two men were jailed for four months for kissing in public in Rabat.