Mob violently beats person on video for wearing a dress
A person in the Moroccan city of Rabat has been violently beaten on video, for going out in public wearing a dress.
Local media has reported that the person was suspected of being a gay man by the gang, but it is unclear whether they were trans, gay, both or neither.
The three-minute video appeared on the website Goud, and showed the person wearing a white dress being brutally beaten.
After trying to take cover in a nearby shop, having their clothes torn off, the victim of the attack is saved by a policeman who draws his gun to disperse the crowd.
The video has been compared by some in Morrocco to anti-gay violence by militant group ISIS.
“Why act like savages? Why stoop so low? Teach your children the principles of Islam which prioritises treating people well and humanely above all. You have become like Daesh [IS],” one person commented on the video.
Others blamed the victim for wearing the dress during Ramadan.
The justice ministry in conservative Morocco has said it will look into the matter.
“The case will be dealt with firmly against those who stand in for the law, which is the sole preserve of the state,” it said.
Homosexuality is punishable in Morocco by up to three years in jail.
The country has been heavily criticised for its anti-gay laws and sentiment.
Mr Cole and his Moroccan friend were subsequently released following a high-profile campaign.
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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 Morocco accused of homosexuality were jailed for three years each.
A magazine cover which asked “should gay people be burned” was earlier this month withdrawn after an outcry.
The cover of Maroc Hebdo posed the question in response to the Moroccan Ministry of Health’s call for homosexuality to be decriminalised.
Update: According to some local sources, two men have been arrested in connection with the attack.