In preparation for his deportation, the Belgian authorities took the Moroccan imam Ekoissen to a closed camp

In preparation for his deportation, the Belgian authorities took the Moroccan imam Ekoissen to a closed camp
In preparation for his deportation, the Belgian authorities took the Moroccan imam Ekoissen to a closed camp

In preparation for his deportation, the Belgian authorities took the Moroccan imam Ekoissen to a closed camp

The attack on a man dressed as a woman in Tangier, northern Morocco, has reignited discussion about individual freedoms in the country, with activists calling for the protection of sexual freedoms and addressing repeated attacks on members of the LGBT+ community in public spaces.

A video clip that was widely circulated on social media in Morocco shows a group of people attacking, knocking and beating a man dressed as a woman.

In another clip, the man exchanged punches with his attackers, and derogatory remarks about homosexuality can be heard in the circulating video.

Moroccan security interacted with the video, and news websites announced the arrest of four people suspected of involvement in the attack on the city’s corniche “on suspicion of their involvement in a case related to the.” Exchange of blows and injuries on public roads”.

And prosecutors decided to investigate two people as to the background to the incident after the person in custody and five others in custody, including four minors, were presented yesterday Tuesday, according to the Tuesday website.depth“.

According to the same source, the court decided to release the minors and arrest the adult on charges of exchanging punches and injuring, while it decided to release the assaulted man on two counts of exchanging punches and violating a minor and public violation of the modesty.

A screenshot from the viral video of the attack

Penalties and Attacks

Homosexuality remains a criminal offense under Moroccan law, and Article 489 of the Penal Code provides for a prison sentence of 6 months to 3 years for anyone who “commits a homosexual act with a person of the same sex”.

For years, human rights organizations have called for the repeal of this law and all other laws restricting individual freedoms, believing they help perpetuate “homophobia and hatred” and attacks on members of the LGBT community in Morocco.

And last year, a “gay” Moroccan youth in Kenitra was subjected to a similar attack after arriving from Spain to spend the summer holidays in his country and suffering serious injuries to various parts of his body, according to identical press sources.

In another incident, a video clip circulated in late 2019 showing police officers arresting a person in women’s clothing on a public street after a traffic accident and being followed, verbally abused and filmed on their cell phones by a group of passers-by.

The repetition of attacks on members of the Ain+ LGBT community is sparking broad religious, societal and legal debate between those who oppose the chapters of the law criminalizing same-sex relationships and those who advocate keeping them because they ” contradict the values ​​of society.”

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double infraction

The head of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights in Tangier, Khadija Abnaou, regards the incident as an attack on the right to physical integrity and personal security and blames the Moroccan authorities for “responsibility for the continued violation of individual freedoms and attacks on the LGBT community”. because it adheres to “transcendent laws”.

And the human rights activist went on to say in a statement to the Al-Hurrah website that the victim suffered a double injury, first, violation of his individual freedom to choose his clothes and inclinations, and second, physical assault on him, he called out authorities to get him justice without holding him responsible or justifying such attacks.

The same speaker explains that in Morocco, the dominant mentalities and cultural bases dedicated to the “erasure of individual freedoms and sexual choices” are still growing, and adding to the magnitude of the problem, the speaker said, is “the lack of legal recognition and protecting individuals’ sexual choices, which are considered a universal right in today’s world.”

Figures from the Association of Minorities, which works in the field of individual liberties, show that 70 percent of Moroccan homosexuals have been subjected to physical or moral violence in private and public places.

According to the study, completed in 2020, only 14 percent of abused homosexuals reported it to authorities, with the rest fearing being discovered and driven from their families or arrested by the police.

“contrary to the values ​​of society”

For his part, the head of the Moroccan Center for Human Rights, Abd al-Ilah al-Khudari, denounced what he called “a barbaric and criminal attack affecting the victim”, adding that those involved should be brought to justice.

On the other hand, he points out that “individual freedoms” require “values, morals and civilized behavior,” including “those who consider themselves minorities or have tendencies that the majority of citizens perceive as provocative and contrary to the values ​​of the Moroccan society must respect common values ​​when they are present in public spaces, in order to avoid abuses that can lead to encroachments.

And the same speaker, in a statement to Al-Hurrah, points out that the laws, no matter how strict, “will not restrict such incidents in a conservative society, as long as these sexual choices reflect behaviors of ordinary people that do not accept them, and consider them to be against human nature.”

For her part, the human rights activist refuses to open the discussion about clothing and appearing in public spaces, pointing out that these are indispensable human rights and stressing the need to draw attention only to the problem of attacking that person in public spaces to guide his personal decisions and felt that blaming the victim for showing his inclinations was “unacceptable and hateful”.

Al-Khudari believes that the values ​​of conservative societies transcend the law, no matter how progressive or strict, and cautions that lawyers should be objective and realistic when approaching these issues.

In this context, he continues, we are with the law and punish the attackers, but “we do not accept behavior and practices that would provoke people in public places, which would open the door to a similar incident in the city of Tangier.”

The President of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights hopes that the rest of the organizations that defend sexual freedoms will put pressure on the government to open a discussion on the subject in connection with the change in the criminal justice system, noting that the freedoms of the LGBT community “are being hurt in the midst of a hostile climate and in the face of total silence.”




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