Teenage girls who faced jail in Morocco for ‘hugging and kissing’ are acquitted
The teenage girls who faced prison after being accused of “hugging and kissing” on a rooftop have been acquitted.
The two girls were arrested in Morocco over the accusation earlier this year.
The women faced up to three years in prison under the country’s strict laws
Reports suggest that 16-year-old Sanaa invited 17-year-old Hajar – who is homeless -into her house in Daoudiate, Marrakesh on October 26.
The two kissed, but were being secretly filmed by Sanaa’s cousin, who quickly alerted her mother.
The girl’s mother is said to have reported the pair to the police, who subsequently arrested the lovers, according to the Moroccan Times.
The pair were accused of “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex”, under Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code and faced years in prison.
But they have now been acquitted.
Rachid El Ghorfi, defending, told the Independent: “They should have never been in front of the prosecutor or the judge.”
Moroccan law penalises 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.
Although many men have been arrested and imprisoned under the laws, this is believed to be the first case of female minors being prosecuted for homosexuality in Morocco.
Earlier this year, two Moroccan men were arrested after a video of them kissing caused outrage online.
In February, two male youths were jailed for one and a half years after they were caught kissing each other.
Last year, campaigners condemned the jailing of two men accused of consensual same-sex activity in Morocco.