Teenage girls face prison for ‘hugging and kissing’

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The girls face up to three years in prison if found guilty.

Two teenage girls have been arrested in Morocco for kissing and hugging.

The young women face up to three years in prison under the country’s strict homosexuality laws, with their trial due to start next week.

Reports suggest that 16-year-old Sanaa invited 17-year-old Hajar – who is homeless -into her house in Daoudiate, Marrakesh on October 26.

The two kissed, but were being secretly filmed by Sanaa’s cousin, who quickly alerted her mother.

The girl’s mother is said to have reported the pair to the police, who subsequently arrested the lovers, according to the Moroccan Times.

If found guilty, the pair faces between six months and three years in prison.

Moroccan law penalises acts of “sexual deviancy” between members of the same sex – a term that police reports and court documents use to refer to homosexuality more generally.

Although many men have been arrested and imprisoned under the laws, this is believed to be the first case of female minors being prosecuted for homosexuality in Morocco.

Earlier this year, two Moroccan men were arrested after a video of them kissing caused outrage online.

In February, two male youths were jailed for one and a half years after they were caught kissing each other.

Last year, campaigners condemned the jailing of two men accused of consensual same-sex activity in Morocco.