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Content about Morocco

October 10, 2014

The British tourist was released earlier this week

A Moroccan man arrested last month with his British partner for 'homosexual acts' has been released.

Jamal Jam Wald Nass, who is believed to be in his 20s, was detained at a bus stop in Marrakech on 18 September. He was sentenced to four months in an overcrowded jail with his 69-year-old partner Ray Cole, a retired magazine publisher he met online.

October 8, 2014

Ray Cole describes Moroccan prisoner as being like a ‘concentration camp’ and praises his family for helping to secure his speedy release

A UK man who was sentenced to four months in prison in Morocco for being gay has arrived back in the UK, after being released pending appeal.

Ray Cole, a retired publisher aged 69, was arrested on 18 September at a bus stop in Marrakech.

He was arrested alongside Jamal Jam Wald Nass, a local man in his 20s with whom the older man had struck up a relationship online several months previously.

This was Cole’s second visit to see Nass, and the two planned to spend five weeks together on a sightseeing tour of the country.

October 7, 2014

Ray Cole's family had sought to embarrass authorities by publicizing the arrest of 69 year old tourist

A UK man who had been sentenced to four months in jail in Morocco for ‘committing homosexual acts’ has been set free.

Ray Cole, 69, will now return to the UK.

The retired magazine publisher was arrested last Thursday after having been in Morocco for about a month.

His son Adrian Cole told Sky News that his father had 'suddenly vanished' and the family had lost contact with him for a week.

As his family looked for him, Cole managed to make a call to family by using the telephone of an inmate.

October 6, 2014

The 69-year-old will spend the next four months sleeping on the floor of an overcrowded cell

A UK man has been jailed for four months in Morocco for ‘committing homosexual acts’, his family said.

Ray Cole, 69, a retired magazine publisher from Deal, Kent traveled to Marrakech to meet Jamal Jam Wald Nass who he met online.

They were arrested on 18 September on a bus on suspicion of homosexuality.

Moroccan authorities failed to notify Cole's family or the British Consulate of his arrest, which they only found out about after they lost contact with him for a week.

October 6, 2014

The 69-year-old will spend the next four months sleeping on the floor of an overcrowded cell

A UK man has been jailed for four months in Morocco for ‘committing homosexual acts’, his family said.

Ray Cole, 69, a retired magazine publisher from Deal, Kent traveled to Marrakech to meet Jamal Jam Wald Nass who he met online.

They were arrested on 18 September on a bus on suspicion of homosexuality.

Moroccan authorities failed to notify Cole's family or the British Consulate of his arrest, which they only found out about after they lost contact with him for a week.

September 10, 2014

Activists are calling on the US to review its relationship with the African country

Human rights groups have condemned the passage of a bill in the Gambia that punishes acts of 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment.

The Gambian National Assembly passed the bill last month, which now awaits approval from outspoken anti-gay President Yahya Jammeh. The bill targets 'serial offenders' and people living with HIV/AIDS.

June 14, 2014

While the gay Puerto Rican pop star was performing at a concert in Morocco, he changed the pronouns in one of his songs to reflect his sexuality

Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin changed the word ‘she’ to ‘he’ while performing one of his biggest hits at a concert in Morocco.

Martin was performing on 6 June at the Marwazine music festival in Morocco, and one of the songs he chose to perform was his 1999 hit ‘She’s All I Ever Had.’

In the original video, we see Martin kissing and caressing a female model and the lyrics tell of a man missing a woman.

However, in his performance last week Martin seemed to give a slightly updated version of the song.

May 15, 2014

One of the six's father rang the police complaining five men were 'recruiting' him into homosexuality

A Moroccan court has jailed six men for being gay and will exile them once they have spent several years in jail.

The defendants were convicted on Monday for homosexuality, inciting prostitution, mediating in prostitution and being drunk in public.

While the Arabian country is seen as comparatively liberal to its neighbors, Morocco is still a deeply conservative Muslim country where gay sex is illegal.

The Faqih Bensalah court, south of the capital Rabat, handed down sentences of one, two and three years to the six accused.

February 5, 2014

Gay people live in and travel to places that may not have the best LGBTI rights record. Should that stop us from traveling to these destinations?

Last month, some of the LGBTI community’s leading activists met in London to debate the ethics of LGBTI travel.

Should individuals travel to a country hostile to the gay, bi and trans community?

Should travelers boycott these countries in attempts to influence them by hurting their travel industry, or should we go anyway to engage with the locals and support the local LGBTI movement?

November 6, 2013

Omar Kuddus asks if LGBTI activism has become dominated by ‘fashions’ and whether a focus on Russia is distracting from the wider struggle for rights

Whilst the world’s and media’s attention is focused on the plight of Russian LGBTIs, we must not forget homosexuality is illegal in 76 countries.

With the Winter Olympics Sochi in 2014 and Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws firmly in place, not a day goes by without some news about the conditions Russian homosexuals face under the heinous anti-gay propaganda laws.

October 22, 2013

Binational couples are celebrating after a Court of Appeal overturns a decade old agreeement between France and Morocco allowing same-sex couples from those two countries to marry

A French-Moroccan gay couple have won the right to marry in France today (22 October).

Dominique, 55 and Mohammed, a younger visiting student, were victorious at the Court of Appeal in Chambery allowing them to stay married.

The couple, who obtained a PACS civil union in March and were originally married in September, had their marriage overturned by a local court.

October 17, 2013

The first gay Frenchman and Moroccan to try and get married have been refused over a decades old agreement between the two countries

A French-Moroccan couple have been banned from marrying in France.

The couple, only identified as Dominique, 55, and Mohammed, a younger student visiting from Morocco, hoped to get married in Chambery on 11 October.

When France legalized gay marriage in May, agreements were signed with several countries banning any ex-patriots from several countries from marrying under the new law.

These were Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Laos, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia as well as the region of Kosovo.

July 2, 2013

LGBT people from 10 countries, who could potentially travel to France to get married, would be barred from doing so

Over 15 million LGBT people are banned from same-sex marriage in France, it was revealed today (2 July).

France has signed agreements with several countries saying any ex-patriots would be banned from marrying under the new ‘Marriage for All’ law.

The 10 countries are Algeria, Bosnia & Herzigovina, Cambodia, Laos, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia as well as the region of Kosovo.

June 27, 2013

Gay marriage between Moroccan and French citizens is ‘impossible’ and ‘threatens public order’ says Morocco’s Justice Minister, Mustafa Ramid

Morocco will not accept gay marriage, stated its Justice Minister, Mustafa Ramid.

Ramid said that Morocco is radically opposed to revise a legal agreement with France that says any marriage between two nationals of the country would mutually recognized.

The minister said that if a same-sex Moroccan and French couple were to marry there would be no way the country would not accept their gay marriage as legal.

June 27, 2013

Gay marriage between Moroccan and French citizens is ‘impossible’ and ‘threatens public order’ says Morocco’s Justice Minister, Mustafa Ramid

Morocco will not accept gay marriage, stated its Justice Minister, Mustafa Ramid.

Ramid said that Morocco is radically opposed to revise a legal agreement with France that says any marriage between two nationals of the country would mutually recognized.

The minister said that if a same-sex Moroccan and French couple were to marry there would be no way the country would not accept their gay marriage as legal.

June 26, 2013

The Council of Europe has called upon Morocco to repeal its law banning same-sex acts  

The Council of Europe (CoE) told Moroccan lawmakers to decriminalize a law banning and severely punishing gay sex.

The statement came as part of CoE’s bi-annual resolution evaluating Morocco’s reforms law reforms as required by its status as a ‘partner of democracy’ in the CoE, published yesterday (25 June).

CoE’s assembly expressed ‘serious concern that the Penal Code criminalizes consensual sexual relations between persons of the same sex, with penalties of between six months and three years in prison.’

June 26, 2013

The Council of Europe has called upon Morocco to repeal its law banning same-sex acts  

The Council of Europe (CoE) told Moroccan lawmakers to decriminalize a law banning and severely punishing gay sex.

The statement came as part of CoE’s bi-annual resolution evaluating Morocco’s reforms law reforms as required by its status as a ‘partner of democracy’ in the CoE, published yesterday (25 June).

CoE’s assembly expressed ‘serious concern that the Penal Code criminalizes consensual sexual relations between persons of the same sex, with penalties of between six months and three years in prison.’

May 8, 2013

Two Moroccan men who were caught having gay sex have been arrested and their trail is expected to draw large crowds

Two young Moroccan men, were arrested and after police ‘caught’ them ‘in action’ having gay sex.

The men were arrested during the weekend while ‘practicing sodomy’ in car stationed next to a park in Témara, a suburb of Rabat, Morocco’s capital, reported the daily Assabah.

The two who were caught appeared before a Court of First Instance in Temara, on Monday (6 May) and accused by the state prosecutor of ‘sodomy’ and ‘undermining public morality’.

May 8, 2013

Two Moroccan men who were caught having gay sex have been arrested and their trail is expected to draw large crowds

Two young Moroccan men, were arrested and after police ‘caught’ them ‘in action’ having gay sex.

The men were arrested during the weekend while ‘practicing sodomy’ in car stationed next to a park in Témara, a suburb of Rabat, Morocco’s capital, reported the daily Assabah.

The two who were caught appeared before a Court of First Instance in Temara, on Monday (6 May) and accused by the state prosecutor of ‘sodomy’ and ‘undermining public morality’.

May 8, 2013

Gay Star News talks to Miyuki Baker about her world travels in search of queer artists and activists

What are the queer communities like in South America compared to Australia? Singapore compared to India? South Korea to Turkey? Recent college graduate Miyuki Baker is finding out by traveling the world in search of queer artists and activists, like herself.

After graduating from Pennsylvania-based liberal arts college Swarthmore, Baker won a $25,000 (US dollars, €19,000) Watson Fellowship that allows her to travel the world pursuing a particular project.

February 11, 2013

Would you cope if you were attacked on holiday? Jujitsu classes came into their own for one gay couple who were bashed in Marrakesh, Morocco

My friend Simon Powell is the club sensei at Ishigaki Jujitsu Club - an LGBT martial arts club in central London.

He emailed me the other day suggesting that I meet up with Rainer Bohlin, one of his jujitsu students, who had just returned from a fairly horrific experience in Marrakesh (Marrakech), Morocco. Bohlin and his boyfriend had been walking along the street when they had been jumped on by a couple of local guys.

September 28, 2012

A Kyrgyzstan court has banned a film about gay Muslims being shown at a human rights  festival in the capital Bishkek

A documentary about a gay Muslim will no longer be shown at a film festival after a Kyrgyzstan court decision.

The film, ‘I am Gay and Muslim’, was due to be shown at the Bir Duino (One World) Human Rights film festival in the country’s capital Bishkek, today (28 September).

Mufti Rakhmatilla Egemberdiev, Kyrgyzstan chief cleric, said the film presented Islam ‘in a bad form, by using examples of people who have nothing to do with the religion.’

July 1, 2012

A ship carrying 2,000 gay holidaymakers says it was told it would not be allowed to dock in Casablanca but the country's Tourism Minister disputes this and says the ship is still welcome to visit

A war of words has erupted over what was to be the first ever visit by an all-gay cruise to a majority Muslim country, with cruise organisers claiming Moroccan officials would not let them dock in Casablanca.

Cruise organiser RSVP Vacations told over two thousand holidaymakers onboard the Holland-America Line’s MS Nieuw Amsterdam that their July 1 visit to Casablanca would not go ahead.

July 1, 2012

A ship carrying 2,000 gay holidaymakers says it was told it would not be allowed to dock in Casablanca but the country's Tourism Minister disputes this and says the ship is still welcome to visit

A war of words has erupted over what was to be the first ever visit by an all-gay cruise to a majority Muslim country, with cruise organisers claiming Moroccan officials would not let them dock in Casablanca.

Cruise organiser RSVP Vacations told over two thousand holidaymakers onboard the Holland-America Line’s MS Nieuw Amsterdam that their July 1 visit to Casablanca would not go ahead.