A young gay couple are in jail after being found ‘guilty’ of homosexuality in Morocco.
Prosecutors sped through a trial, before an investigation had even been completed and they weren’t able to get proper legal representation.
The couple, who GSN will not name to protect their safety, had gone to a deserted area in the outskirts of Guelmim, a southern city of the north African country, on 26 May.
Police reportedly caught the two young men having sex in their car and arrested them under article 489 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes ‘lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex’.
Despite the public prosecutor ordering a full investigation to be conducted before it was presented to the city’s Court of First Instance, the two men were quickly found guilty.
The gay couple were handed a sentence of six months.
Aswat Collective, the gay rights organization based in Morocco, told Gay Star News that lawyers had refused to defend the detainees because they had been charged with homosexuality.
‘The detainees asked for an appeal,’ a spokesperson told GSN. ‘The file of the detainees will be transferred to the Court of Appeal in Agadir.’
Morocco has seen several arrests of gay people across the country, with the most high profile case being in Beni Mellal.
In March, a mob caught a gay couple having sex and brutally assaulted the two of them. The couple were then arrested for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality. A video of the attack went viral online.
Human rights organizations are attempting to repeal the law that criminalizes homosexuality and free the people who are in jail for gay sex.
Those charged under article 489 of the Penal Code face sentences ranging from three months to six years in prison and a find of up to MAD 1,200 ($125, €110).