Moroccan activists call for de-criminalizing extramarital relationships

Moroccan activists call for de-criminalizing extramarital relationships

Moroccan activists launched on social media a campaign to de-penalize extra-marital consensual sex after a woman in Tetuan was handed a one-month jail term.

The woman was a victim of revenge porn after her video went viral on Moroccan social media triggering her arrest and indictment by virtue of Article 490 of the penal code which bans sexual relations between unmarried people.

The verdict was met with resentment among young activists on social media in particular who shared photos saying “STOP490.”

They argue that the article violates freedoms and perpetuates marriage, rather than consent, as the central criterion for lawful sexual relations.

The state has nothing to do inside the bedrooms of consensual adults, wrote an activist on his facebook wall in defense of the campaign to drop charges under article 490.

The bill perpetuates marriage, rather than consent, as the central criterion for lawful sexual relations by preserving the ban on consensual sexual relations outside marriage in Articles 489, 490 and 491 of the Penal Code

The debate over this controversial penal code article has resurfaced in mediatized cases of adultery with rights groups persistently calling for its abolishment.

However, the call is far from making unanimity among the Moroccan people. Conservative circles and Islamists in particular want it to be maintained.

 

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