In Morocco, a gay man brutally beaten is a reminder no MENA country is safe for LGBT

Published July 2nd, 2015 - 03:07 GMT
Morocco's Article 489 states same-sex relations can be punishable with up to three years in prison. (AFP/Raul Arboleda)
Morocco's Article 489 states same-sex relations can be punishable with up to three years in prison. (AFP/Raul Arboleda)

Morocco has often been hailed as an LGBT-friendly country to visit.

So sometimes it's easy to forget that homosexuality is illegal there. But a recent attack on a gay man is a reminder of the stigma, and dangers, the LGBT community still faces in the country.

A video uploaded on YouTube showed the brutal beating of a gay man in the northern city of Fes. A bearded man approached him by the cab he was taking, beating him and urging others to help before police arrived.

The footage was deleted on Wednesday, but not before over 12,000 watched it.

It's a dark incident following the good news earlier this week, as the US Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal throughout the country. Mozambique also scrapped a ban on homosexuality Tuesday.

Yet in the Middle East during Ramadan, there are only examples of violence. Even in Istanbul, police dispersed a crowd at the annual gay pride parade with a water cannon despite having the event every year without incident.

Morocco's law Article 489 states: "Lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex can be punishable with anything from three months to three years of imprisonment and a fine of 120 ($13) to 1,200 dirhams ($123)."

By Hayat Norimine

 


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