Call the UN to help free the two Moroccan minors facing inprisonment for kissing

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Call the UN to help free the two Moroccan minors facing inprisonment for kissing

This petition had 4,522 supporters

On the 27th of October, two girls sat on a rooftop in Marrakesh and embraced and kissed, unaware that this simple, tender act would lead to an arrest. Now they could face up to 3 years in prison.

16-year-old Sanaa and 17-year-old Hajar were photographed kissing by a cousin of one of the girls, who then sent the photo to the girl's mother, who in turn called the police on her own daughter. The two girls were immediately arrested and taken to jail where they remained until their temporary release yesterday. They were held in an adult prison, rather than a juvenile detention centre, and Hajar's mother said her daughter told her she had been mistreated by other prisoners. The girls are being charged with “licentious or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex” under Article 489 of the Moroccan penal code, and could face between 6 months and 3 years in prison if convicted, as well as a fine of up to 1200 dirhams (£260/$325). They were due to appear on trial today, Friday 4th November, but the trial has now been postponed until November 25th. This change in date hopefully gives more time for social pressure to be put on the Moroccan authorities to drop the charges, or at least give a lighter sentencing. 

I call upon the United Nations Human Right's council to:

  • condemn the way the Moroccan authorities have responded to what is ultimately a simple act of affection
  • put pressure on the Moroccan court to drop the charges against the girls (and if this is not achievable, to provide the best legal support they can offer for the girls)
  • work towards the goal of the abolishment of Article 489 which criminalises all homosexual acts

These two girls, who are still minors, should not be facing years in prison simply for displaying affection towards each other. It disgusts and terrifies me that if I, or any of my other LGBT+ friends, had been born in a different country, we could have been one of those girls who are facing imprisonment for an carrying out an act that many of us take for granted. It's 2016, it's well past time for this kind of hatred and injustice to stop, we all need to come together and fight back against the barbaric and immoral ways LGBT+ people are being treated around the world.

I hope that you will sign this petition and stand in support of two young girls who are being treated like serious criminals when all they did was kiss. Do you really want to live in a world where kisses are criminalised?

(use the hashtag #FreeTheGirls on Twitter to show your support)

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