December 12, 2007
Six people sentenced for homosexuality
A court in northern Morocco has sentenced six Moroccans to between four and ten months in prison for "homosexuality", one of the detained men's lawyers told AFP Wednesday.
The harshest penalty was given to Fouad Friret, who was ordered to serve 10 months in prison and pay 1,000 dirhams (100 euros, 150 dollars) for the crimes of homosexuality and selling alcohol illegally, his lawyer Mohamed Sebbar said.
Homosexuality carries a maximum three-year prison sentence in Morocco.
Sebbar said the verdict, delivered Monday in the northern town of Ksar El Kebir, was unfair.
"The homosexual act that the six were accused of was not proven, there were no witnesses, nor was there neither date nor place of the supposed act," he said.
The issue dates back to November 18, when a private party was organized in Ksar El Kebir, reported in the press as a "gay marriage".
On November 23, numerous Islamist militants took part in a violent rally against homosexuality in the town.
Protesters clashed with police, looted a jewelry store supposedly belonging to one of the participants of the private party, and ravaged the home of one of the party organizers who fled to the police station.