Topless activists kicked out of Morocco for gay kiss at ancient mosque
Two French activists were kicked out of Morocco for staging a topless same-sex kiss at the site of an ancient mosque.
The women were members of the human rights protest group Femen, the female members of which often appear topless in order to campaign for LGBT rights.
According to reports, the protest took place at the medieval site of the Hassan Mosque, which is no longer an active place of worship, but is visited by thousands of tourists each year.
In a statement earlier this week, the Moroccan interior ministry said: “This act of provocation was an unacceptable offence to Moroccan society.
“The two were arrested at Rabat international airport after they filmed obscene scenes.”
After being arrested at the airport, whilst trying to go home, the women were barred from returning to the country.
Same-sex sexual activity is a crime in Morocco, with a maximum possible sentence of 3 years.
Femen previously protested in Tunisia in 2013.
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“I know Morocco could be more dangerous than Tunisia,” said one of the women, who only identified herself as Marguerite.
Mr Cole and his Moroccan friend were subsequently released following a high-profile campaign.
Moroccan law penalises what it refers to as acts of “sexual deviancy” between members of the same sex, a term that police reports and court documents use to refer to homosexuality more generally.
Campaigners earlier this year condemned the jailing of two men accused of consensual same-sex activity in Morocco.
Last month three men in Morrocco accused of homosexuality were jailed for three years each.