Last Update 17:40
Monday, 21 October 2019

Drop 'absurd' kissing charges, Amnesty urges Morocco

Outraged by a case brought against a teenage couple for kissing on a Facebook photo, activists in Morocco are threatening to hold a 'kiss-in' outside parliament in protest

AFP , Thursday 10 Oct 2013
Views: 687
Views: 687

Amnesty International on Thursday urged Morocco to immediately drop what it called "absurd charges" against a teenage couple arrested after a photo of them kissing was posted on Facebook.

The case has sparked outrage, with activists threatening to lock lips in a group "kiss-in" outside parliament on Saturday in protest.

The young couple and a male friend who took the photo outside their school in the city of Nador were detained last week and released on bail several days later ahead of their trial on Friday for violating public decency.

If convicted, they could be jailed for up to two years under Article 483 of the kingdom's penal code.

"It is simply absurd that these teenagers could face a prison term just for kissing and posting a photo on Facebook," said Amnesty's regional director Philip Luther.

"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," Luther added.

The teenagers, aged between 14 and 15, were arrested after a Moroccan NGO filed a lawsuit last month charging that such photos had a negative affect on society and upset people's feelings.

Morocco has a reputation for religious tolerance and personal freedoms, particularly when compared with other Muslim countries, but it remains a deeply religious society.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.