Human Rights Watch | Law - Gay, LGBT | Law Enforcement | LGBT Rights | Morocco

Six Men Convicted Of Homosexual Acts in Morocco


On July 2nd, a Moroccan court of appeals upheld the convictions of at least four of six men accused of homosexual acts, reports Human Rights Watch.

The country’s constitution states that Morocco “commits to banning and combatting all discrimination toward anyone, because of gender, color, beliefs, culture, social or regional origin, language, handicap, or whatever personal circumstance.”

The men were convicted on charges that included “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.”

On May 12th, the court of first instance convicted the men of homosexual acts. At that time, sentences included one of three years in prison, one of two and a half years in prison, and four shorter periods in prison. The court is thought to also have banished possibly all six defendants from Fqih Bensalah, the city in which the offences took place.

According to defense lawyer Hadda Maidar, the convictions were upheld on the basis of statements made in police custody. All six men have since repudiated their statements which they say were made under duress.

In its July 2 ruling, the appeals court shortened the two prison terms for two defendants, converted the others to suspended sentences, and cancelled the banishment orders. 

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  1. This is simply outrageous. Being punished for simply existing

    Posted by: Keith Murphy | Jul 8, 2014 12:52:08 PM

  2. And this will dry up tourism in Casablanca and Marrakesh and they will wonder what happened

    Posted by: Bubba | Jul 8, 2014 1:24:56 PM

  3. Given that Casablanca is in Morocco, I guess it is no longer the case that a kiss is just a kiss: the movie got that wrong.

    Welcome to Africa, where only the wild animals get to be gay (nobody in his right mind is going to try to arrest a gay rhino).

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 8, 2014 1:45:21 PM

  4. Rick, I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

    Posted by: dctopman | Jul 8, 2014 1:48:07 PM

  5. Only six?

    Posted by: Rock the Casbah | Jul 8, 2014 1:50:57 PM

  6. So when are the Olympics & World Cup coming to them? Seems like this is a qualifier for getting to be a host country.

    Posted by: Kieran | Jul 8, 2014 2:34:16 PM

  7. Apparently the monarch Mohammed VI is exempt from this law.

    Posted by: Jeff Atwood | Jul 8, 2014 4:24:32 PM

  8. @Jeff Atwood : don't blame their king. According to the Wikipedia page on Morocco:

    The Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary. With the 2011 constitutional reforms, the King of Morocco retains few executive powers whereas those of the prime minister have been enlarged.

    The constitution grants the king honorific powers; he is both the secular political leader and the "Commander of the Faithful" as a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. He presides over the Council of Ministers; appoints the Prime Minister from the political party that has won the most seats in the parliamentary elections, and on recommendations from the latter, appoints the members of the government.

    So, what we can take from the above is that "the Prophet Mohammed" has gay descendants - hardly a surprise. That raises another question: while Christians believe that Jesus never married and never had sex, what about his 12 disciples? None of them married? Nobody is bragging about being a descendant of one of Jesus' disciples, so we might guess that none of them ever married or had children. Let's see, you have someone who hangs out with 12 guys, none of whom have any known offspring. What's the obvious conclusion?

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 8, 2014 10:27:33 PM

  9. The same constitution defines Islam as the religion of the state and prohibits any amendments that would revoke Islam's status.

    Posted by: Victor | Jul 9, 2014 3:34:32 AM

  10. @Bill, the Bible states that Peter was married; Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14).

    Posted by: Guy Johnson | Jul 9, 2014 7:55:50 AM

  11. I'm not defending it, just explaining it: what we would call gay sex is an open secret in Morocco among young men. You are expected to grow out of it. And even then it is OK to have sex with a foreigner as long as you are the more active partner.

    Posted by: BlackBeachBum | Jul 9, 2014 9:26:01 AM

  12. @Bill: Please don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia. Morocco's constitution is used to paper the walls of MVI's bathrooms, if not for other functions there.

    Posted by: inor | Jul 11, 2014 5:47:27 PM

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