Police in Marrakech arrested on Thursday evening, January 14, famous Moroccan belly dancer Chikha Trax during her wedding party.
Security services intervened during the party because large gatherings are currently banned under Morocco’s state of health emergency.
Chikha Trax was celebrating her marriage to a foreign man from a Gulf country. According to local reports, 37 guests attended the party.
The Moroccan dancer, with over 500,000 combined followers on her various social media accounts, organized the party at her home in Gueliz, Marrakech.
Police officers made the intervention after several guests shared live footage from the party on Facebook. The footage showed the guests dancing in a crowded space without any face masks on.
After the police arrived, each of the guests paid a fine of MAD 300 ($34) for “violating the state of health emergency.”
Meanwhile, the party’s organizer, Chikha Trax, was transferred to the police department for investigations.
Security services released the dancer on bail a few hours after her arrest, but she will face charges for organizing an illegal gathering and violating the state of health emergency.
The incident prompted varying responses from Chikha Trax’s followers. While many criticized her for violating the preventive measures against COVID-19, others thought security services should “let people enjoy life.”
On December 22, Morocco imposed a ban on public and private gatherings and parties between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. every day. The timing of Chikha Trax’s wedding party, held after 8 p.m., was likely the main reason police officers put an end to it.
The ban is still in place to this date. Its official end date is January 20, but it can be extended for more weeks, depending on the country’s epidemiological situation.