Three Moroccan youths will appear in prison later today Friday October 11, 2013 after they were arrested in the town of Nador after kissing and posting the picture on Facebook.
The teenagers, two 15-year-old boys and one 14-year-old girl were arrested and detained and then bailed after three days on October 7, 2013 ahead of their court hearing today.
All three have now been charged with “public indecency” under article 483 of the Moroccan penal code and face up to two years in prison and a fine if convicted.
One of the boys was also accused of “indecent assault” on a minor, a separate charge under article 484 of the penal court which carries another possible 2 to 5 years imprisonment if convicted.
The kiss happened outside a high school and was posted on Facebook and has divided opinions in Morocco strict Islamic society.
“It is simply absurd that these teenagers could face a prison term just for kissing and posting a photo on Facebook,” Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North African Director said.
He called on Moroccan authorities to immediately drop all charges unconditionally against the teenagers.
“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 an act as benign as teenagers kissing is absurd, Luther added.
The detention of the teenagers sparked a wave of solidarity in Morocco and abroad. A solidarity kiss-in was organised on October 6, 2013 outside the Moroccan embassy in Paris and similar protests are planned today across the North African country.
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