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Article 490 of the Moroccan Penal Code

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Also within the framework of the left-wing political parties, the parliamentarians of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces are in favour of the decriminalisation of extramarital relations. They called for a comprehensive reform of the penal code, as they believe that article 490 is not the only article that does not guarantee individual freedoms or victims of sexual violence. Fassi-Fihri shares this position. On February 24, Nabil Benabdallah, general secretary of the PPS, told the radio that while his party was in favor of decriminalizing sexual relations outside marriage, it was not part of the PPS platform “because you don`t base a campaign on repealing an article.” Since then, she has called for the opening of a “public debate on several provisions of the Moroccan Penal Code that can violate privacy and restrict freedoms,” all in the name of “dignity and democracy.” However, she did not respond to our request for comment, following the example of her colleagues in the NIR. Add injustice to the pain. This is the sad experience of a divorced young woman, mother of two, from Tetouan, Morocco, after an intimate video was posted on social networks without her knowledge. Hanna (also known as “Moulat El Khimar”, literally “the veiled girl”), was under the jurisdiction of Article 490 of the Moroccan Penal Code, which criminalizes relations outside marriage. In an article published in January 2013 by the French online newspaper Mediapart, the author explains that while reporting in the women`s wing of Oukacha prison, she noted that some women had been detained there for “adultery” or for “extramarital sexual relations” (4 January 2013). Hamza Elmeray, a member of the PsU and FGP National Council, goes even further: “Where are we with the reform of the Penal Code initiated in 2015? The government and its majority refuse to talk about the changes to be made to this reform because of a political calculation.

The upcoming elections will cause many parties not to take a stand to ensure that they do not lose their base. The repeal or modification of these draconian articles is not something demanded by the popular strata. According to the article published by the Moroccan magazine MarocHebdo, which points out that according to the law, legal proceedings against a person who has committed adultery can only be initiated at the request of the “offended” spouse. Among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time frame of this response, the Research Directorate found an article on the case of a man who had killed the woman with whom he was dating. an affair on the pretext that she was in an adulterous relationship with another man (eMarrakesh, July 31, 2013). Proof of the offences referred to in articles 490 and 491 may be provided either by a protocol drawn up by a judicial police officer certifying the violation of the offence, or by confessions of the accused in letters or documents, or by legal confessions (Morocco 1963). This year, according to the prosecutor`s office, 15,192 people have been charged under this article. The 3. In February, a case brought Moroccan outlaws back to action: a single mother from Tetouan was sentenced to one month in prison after a pornographic video of her was posted on the internet without her knowledge. The author, who lives in the Netherlands, has not been charged. The Research Directorate contacted a researcher from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands who is particularly interested in honour killings and travelled to Morocco in 2009 to research the subject (Researcher 4 September 2013b).

During a telephone interview with the Directorate of Research, this researcher stressed that it is “difficult to generalize” and “that we can not paint a general picture of the situation of adultery in Morocco” because there are “always exceptions” and “many variables” can influence the situation (ibid.). He generally described the treatment of people accused of adultery, stating that confessing to such an act in Morocco “has significant consequences for both men and women,” even though the woman is generally in a “weaker position” than the man (ibid.). The researcher explained that the woman “has a lot to lose if she makes the case public,” especially honor and appreciation (ibid.). He added that not only her, but also her family members, i.e. her father, brothers and uncles, face social stigma (ibid.). The researcher stressed that it is “better to hide the wrongdoing of the culprit” (ibid.). According to him, a woman accused of adultery could be “of her spouse and also of members of her own family”, such as her father, brothers and uncles, and her in-laws (ibid.). According to the MarocHebdo article, “many different facts reported daily in the news” show that the humiliation associated with an act of adultery can lead men to “murder” or “suicide” (March 16, 2011). The researcher explained the following: In the run-up to the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2021, the 490 collective called on political parties to announce their position on the repeal of the article. Some Moroccan MPs have spoken out in favour of this repeal and are calling for a more comprehensive revision of the penal code. Be continued. In Morocco, a case of revenge has revived the debate on Article 490, which criminalizes sexual relations outside marriage.

A few months before the legislative elections, the moroccan outlaw movement calls on political parties to repeal them. Moroccan outlaws and campaigns for the abolition of 490 The Moroccan outlaw movement was launched in 2019 to protest the arrest and imprisonment of a journalist who allegedly had an illegal abortion and sex outside of marriage. She was later pardoned by the king. “Moroccan Outlaws” is led by prominent Moroccan feminist figures. You campaigned for the repeal of article 490 of the Penal Code by #STOP490. They believe that such a libertarian law cannot be applicable in the relatively progressive socio-economic context of Morocco. The “Moroccan outlaws” have actively carried the abolition of 490 on the political scene by calling on each party to take a clear position and communicate it before the 2021 elections. Kettani, M.E. (February 7, 2021). #Stop490: mobilization of the “Outlaw” to decriminalize sexual relations outside marriage. Lecourrierdelatlas. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

(2013). Refworld | Morocco: implementation of laws on adultery, in particular article 490 of the Penal Code and subsequent articles; Treatment of adulterers by family members and in-laws (2010-August 2013). Refworld. This new wave of protests, organized in the form of a virtual sit-in and focused on sharing an image on a red background marked with the hashtag #STOP490, is a great success on the Internet. The call for the repeal of the article was circulated on social media by netizens as well as many influential artists, intellectuals and public figures. The researcher explained that “when adultery is known to the community, the couple has no choice but to divorce, even if the husband does not want it (and if he forgives his wife) (September 4, 2013b). He stressed that “community pressure is strong” (ibid.). The researcher also explained that “if adultery is not known to the community, divorce is not necessary,” but that “the adulterous woman may find it difficult to refuse to give her husband a second wife (polygamy is legal in Morocco)” (ibid.).