Police in Morocco arrested and jailed two teenage girls last week on homosexuality charges, the Moroccan news website Yabiladi reported. Sometime later, the girls were granted provisional release in advance of a court hearing scheduled for today [and later rescheduled for Nov. 25.]
As of Nov. 5, a French-language petition seeking the girls’ immediate unconditional release had been signed by 39,026 people at AllOut.org.
The case began when the girls reportedly were seen and photographed kissing on the roof of a family house. They were denounced and taken to the police station, where they were arrested.
The girls are now represented by two attorneys who are members of the Morocco-based Free Feminist Union (UFL).
Two girls, ages 16 and 17, (identified here as S.Sh. and H.B.) were arrested in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Thursday, Oct. 27, for homosexuality.
The Free Feminist Union (UFL) has learned from the mother of H. B. that a family member of one of the two girls took them to the police station, where they were immediately arrested.
H. B.’s mother told the UFL that the authorities contacted her to bring in her daughter’s identity papers, but then she had to wait at the court on Friday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. without receiving any information. She learned later that her daughter had been transferred to the local prison of Boulamharaz and S.Sh. to a [detention center] for minors.H.B.’s mother had no further information about the fate of her daughter.
H.B. refused to eat after her arrest, said Ms. Nidal Azhary, president of the UFL. She was being held under deplorable conditions.
The two girls are being prosecuted for homosexuality under Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of six months to three years and a fine of 200 to 1,000 dirhams (US $20 to $100).The president of the UFL said that H.B. was asked to sign a police statement about the incident without reading it, and then only signed it under pressure.
This article was revised on Nov. 5 to include information about the Nov. 25 court date and the AllOut.org petition.