Balafrej calls for amending articles that criminalize homosexuality, consensual relations, and marital infidelity.
Rabat – Moroccan MP Omar Balafrej of the Federation of the Democratic Left (FGD) Party, known for being a trenchant critic of the government’s orientation, has shared his stance on the laws on civil liberties.
Balafrej criticized the criminalization of abortion and called for the abolition of a number of penal code articles that oppose individual liberties and limits space for self-expression. He said he will reiterate his call in the upcoming parliamentary discussions on possible amendments.
The articles Belafrej is calling out criminalize homosexuality, consensual relations, and marital infidelity.
In a live video on his Facebook, Balafrej made his stance clear on the above-mentioned amendments and called for removing article 489 from the Moroccan penal code.
Article 489 criminalizes “unlawful or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.” Homosexuality is illegal in Morocco, it is punishable by 6 months to 3 years of imprisonment with a fine ranging from MAD 200 to MAD 1,000.
Article 490 punishes all persons of different sex who have sexual intercourse outside the bonds of marriage. The sentence varies from one month to one year in prison.
Balafrej has also stated that article 491 must be amended which punishes all married persons convicted of adultery for one to two years in prison. The prosecution is only exercised on the complaint of the offended spouse.
The MP’s call for amendments comes amid the controversy surrounding the sentencing of Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni to one year of imprisonment for having an abortion and premarital sex.
Abortion is illegal according to Morocco’s Penal Code. Women who intentionally abort a child will face between six months to two years in prison and a fine of 500 to MAD 5,000.
Homosexuality in Morocco remains a taboo subject and immoral. There is no law protecting the LGBT community in Morocco against discrimination or harassment.