In Morocco, homosexuality is condemned by Article 489 of the penal code that criminalizes “licentious acts against nature with an individual of the same sex.” Being lesbian or gay in Morocco, means risking 6 months to 3 years imprisonment. The heaviest sentence under the criminal code. It means being considered as a criminal because of one’s sexual orientation.The conviction on May 22nd of three homosexuals to 3 years in jail, is the latest example of a long series of cases where Morocco imprisons people for their homosexuality. In the name of universal human rights, FEMEN activists defending the right to freedom of privacy and sexual life. Two of them appeared the slogan “IN GAY WE TRUST” painted on their chest, in front of Hassan Tower in Rabat. They have kissed publicly celebrating LGBT rights and denouncing the injustice done to the homosexual community in Morocco.

Few hours after, FEMEN activists Esther and Marguerite were arrested at Rabat-Salé airport as they were preparing to leave the country.

The two French activists will be presented to court, after the conclusion of the investigation. “They will be prosecuted for having shot “obscene sequence, undermining public morality,” according to a communique issued by the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).

 

Even if I am not very surprised, I am still furious about the arrest of the FEMEN activists in Morocco whom led a peaceful silent protest in solidarity with gay people jailed in the country. We challenge the Moroccan state to recognize its hypocrisy as it considers that a peaceful protest in favor of universal human rights is more obscene than a homophobic law. I thought that our protest in Morocco would end today, apparently it only begins… To those whom already called our protest a « provocation », I call you to reconsider your statement and realize that today again, 2 more innocent people were arrested and charged by a state that believe it is more moral to deny human rights than to protest bare breasted in the name of universal human rights. You can call me a « maximalist », but I believe we achieve changes by challenging the world in this way. If Rosa Parks wouldn’t have refused one day to let a white person take her place in a bus, the issues of racism and segregation would probably be even more tensed and sharp than what they are today. In the same way, we believe that within a short period of time, homophobia and discrimination will no longer be part of our laws. But to succeed, we need to resist !

Inna Shevchenko