Casablanca - After examining Morocco’s sixth periodic report, the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee has said it is “worried.”
Casablanca – After examining Morocco’s sixth periodic report, the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee has said it is “worried.”
The committee is condemning Morocco’s “criminalization of homosexuality, which is sanctioned by up to three years in prison” and “the inciting of hatred, discrimination and violence against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The UN committee is asking Morocco to eliminate Article 489 of the Moroccan criminal code, which condemns homosexuality and could lead those convicted to spend up to three years in prison and pay a fine of up to MAD 1,200.
In more specific terms, it demands that the Moroccan government eliminate “article 489 of the penal code in order to decriminalize homosexuality and sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex and to release anyone currently in prison solely because they had consenting sexual relations with someone of the same sex.”
Morocco has had its fair share of arrests related to Article 489. Most recently, two girls were arrested in Marrakech after being spotted kissing on a terrace. After spending several days in prison, they were eventually released. They could face more prison time after their November 25 court date, however. Earlier this year, two men in Beni Mellal were held in prison for 26 days on charges of homosexuality before being released with the help of several Moroccan organizations who condemned their arrest.
Despite the UN’s plea to Morocco, it is unlikely the government will take action on this controversial issue anytime soon.