Morocco’s criminalisation of homosexuality has notched up yet more victims; this time a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old girl.
According to local media, the teens were arrested by police after they were seen kissing one another in a house in the city of Marrakesh on 26 October.
A cousin videoed the girls kissing and showed it to the mother of the younger teen. The woman, in turn, took the girls to the police, who arrested them on the spot.
The teens have since been held in custody ahead of their trial. They were set to appear in court on Friday 4 November.
Male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Morocco under article 489 of the penal code, with penalties ranging from six months to three years in jail, as well as the imposition of fines.
Persecutions of and mob attacks against LGBT people are not uncommon in Morocco. In May, two men were imprisoned on charges of homosexuality after they were caught having sex in a car parked in a remote location.
In March, a gay couple was attacked by a homophobic group of men in the privacy of their home. They were assaulted on video, further humiliated after they were forced naked into the streets by their assailants and then charged with homosexuality.
According to Human Rights Watch, Moroccan courts often rely on confessions coerced by the police to convict people accused of homosexuality.
The group and at least 20 nongovernmental organisations in Morocco have called for the repeal of article 489.