Three Moroccan Men Arrested For Being Gay, Sentenced To Three Years In Jail
Three Moroccan men caught arranging and partaking in gay sexual encounters were arrested and sentenced to three years each in jail on Monday after police found two of the men "in the act."
According to the AFP, police were acting on a tip when they raided a mechanic's workshop in the city of Taourirt recently and caught the owner, a man in his 40s, presumably having some kind of intimate physical contact with another man in his 20s.
Both men were arrested and "accused of homosexuality," as was one other man who reportedly arranged the encounter. Each of the men received the highest possible sentence for breaking Article 489 of Morocco's penal code, which forbids "a deviant act with a person of the same sex."
Sexual relations outside of marriage and homosexuality specifically are banned by law in the conservative North African nation, even though a conflicting article in the country's constitution states that "all persons have the right to protection of their private life."
Last October, Moroccan police were put under pressure after arresting Ray Cole, a gay British tourist they suspected of being gay. Cole was released and deported after two days in a Marrakesh prison, where he described the conditions being "pretty bleak."