Target: Abdelilah Benkirane, President of the Government of Morocco
Goal: End prosecution of homosexuality in Morocco and liberate two teen girls charged with homosexual acts.
Two girls, aged 16 and 17, were recently caught kissing and hugging on the roof of a house in the city of Marrakech, Morocco. They were subsequently arrested for “licentious or unnatural acts with individuals of the same sex.” Evidently, some onlooker photographed the two young women, turned the evidence over to their families, and a family member was actually responsible for contacting the police. Law enforcement wasted no time in carting the teens off to Boulamharaz prison, where they now await trial.
In the Moroccan Penal Code, sexual activities between people of the same sex are punishable with prison sentences ranging from six months to three years. Violators also receive a fine between $12 USD and $122 USD. Furthermore sexual activities between people who are unmarried is also punishable. These laws are abhorrent to begin with because no expression of love, between people of any gender, should be considered a crime. To add insult to the already present injustice, the two girls involved in this incident were guilty of nothing more than a hug and a kiss. These activities could certainly be romantic in nature, but it’s a far reach to call them sexual, and prosecuting these young women for their affection is just plain wrong.
Although the United States can hardly claim to be free of gender or sexuality-based discrimination, we at least have come a long way in terms of our legislation. Imagine facing jail time and a $120 fine for exchanging a kiss with someone you’re close to. Criminalizing love, simply because it does not conform to mainstream ideals, is one of the most senseless, spiteful, and sad human rights violations plaguing societies today. Tell the Moroccan government to end this law and exonerate the two young girls currently facing its consequences.
Dear President Benkirane,
The story of the two young girls recently imprisoned in Morocco for sharing a kiss on a rooftop has become international news. To criminalize an act of affection between two people is cruel, sad, and unjust – not to mention the fact that the two girls, aged 16 and 17, were taken to Boulamharaz prison instead of the correctional facility for minors. The treatment they are receiving as a result of an innocuous action is utterly indefensible.
Advocates from the Moroccan Association of Human Rights have called for the release of these two young women and have also demanded the abolition of the law under which they have been charged. I would like to add my voice to this plea. No government should prosecute love, in any form – least of all something as harmless as a kiss shared by two youths on a rooftop.
You must liberate the two young women awaiting trial in Boulamharaz prison and put an end to the unjust law that condemned them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fobos92