Morocco: Homosexual couple in Morocco tortured... then imprisoned for defending themselves

A video showing a homosexual couple being tortured has provoked widespread condemnation throughout Morocco, where attacks against homosexuals are on the rise. But perhaps the most shocking part is the way in which the authorities reacted.

A Moroccan court on Monday released two men convicted of homosexuality, which normally carries a jail sentence in the kingdom, in a case that stirred emotions throughout the country. The court also jailed two men convicted of attacking the couple, while outside two topless Femen activists from France were detained and deported after protesting for Rabat to decriminalise homosexuality. Residents of the town of Beni Mellal in central Morocco, meanwhile, gathered to demand the release of the jailed attackers.

A first victim was sentenced to four months in jail for "acts against nature", but an appeal hearing decided Monday to release him on time served. The other victim was handed a four-month suspended sentence for "sexual deviancy".

For the attack on the couple, one defendant was handed a six-month prison sentence and another received four months for forced entry, resorting to violence and carrying weapons. Two others were acquitted and a fifth was to be tried later in a minors' court. Rights organisations have demanded that Morocco decriminalise homosexuality, which is punishable by up to three years in jail.  Read more via Morocco News