Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Morocco/Western Sahara: Drop absurd charges against teenagers arrested for kissing

    October 10, 2013

    Authorities in Morocco must immediately and unconditionally drop charges against three teenagers arrested for kissing and posting a photo on Facebook, said Amnesty International ahead of a court hearing on Friday.

    “It is simply absurd that these teenagers could face a prison term just for kissing and and posting a photo on Facebook,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    “These young people should never have been detained in the first place - there is no imaginable reason why expression of this type ought to result in prosecution. Launching a judicial investigation into a complaint about an act as benign as teenagers kissing is ridiculous. It should be dismissed out of hand.”

    Two 15-year-old boys and one 14-year-old girl were arrested on 4 October in the city of Nador. They were detained for three days and released on bail on 7 October, ahead of a court hearing this Friday.

    All three were charged with “public indecency” under Article 483 of Morocco's Penal Code. If found guilty, they could face up to two years imprisonment and a fine.

    Furthermore, one of the boys was accused of “indecent assault” on a minor under Article 484 of the Penal Code for allegedly kissing the 14-year-old girl, an offence which carries prison sentences between two and five years.

    The arrests took place following a complaint claiming the kiss, which took place outside a high school with photos posted on social media, had a negative effect on Moroccan society.

    The arrests and detention sparked a broad wave of solidarity in Morocco and abroad. A solidarity kiss-in was organised on 6 October outside the Moroccan embassy in Paris, while similar protests are planned this week in Morocco.

    For further information, please contact John Tackaberry, Media Relations 613-744-7667 ext 236 jtackaberry@amnesty.ca

     

    rights