Launched by the “490 Coalition” several months ago, in order to be sent to Parliament to demand a revision of the laws criminalizing consensual sexual relations, the “Love is not a crime” petition was able to collect 2,500 signatures.
While waiting to reach a quorum of 5.000 signatures required by law in order for the petition to be taken into consideration by Parliament, the coalition sent a letter to the Special Committee responsible for designing the new development model, asking it to make a recommendation to annul the articles of criminal law that hinder the exercise of individual freedoms, including consensual sexual relations outside marriage, and to establish a legal framework for the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, given that Morocco records the deaths of some 9240 infants abandoned in garbage cans and sewers every year, while some 14.500 people are prosecuted for engaging in consensual sexual relations outside marriage, not to mention the fact that thousands of the most competent young people are increasingly leaving the country in search of wider horizons in which to exercise their freedoms.
In its message to the committee, the coalition said young Moroccans are on the verge of exploding because of the sexual deprivation they suffer, which has led them into “schizophrenia”, according to several opinion polls. The coalition also said, referring to a field study it had carried out, that laws that date back a century and a context that is now outdated make citizens, especially young people, repressed and deprive them of their right to love and freely dispose of their bodies.
The coalition called for the need to include sex education in school curricula and to set up awareness campaigns on the subject. “We are convinced that the new development model of our country can only be based on a society that guarantees its citizens the right to exercise their individual freedoms within a framework of respect,” the letter states.
The coalition suggested that some of its members be heard by the New Development Model Committee to present its ideas, suggestions, data and studies.
The coalition, which was created following the arrest of journalist Hajar Raissouni for abortion in an “illegal” relationship, had launched an “Outlaw” campaign that collected 15,000 signatures, before launching its new “Love is not a crime” campaign immediately after the royal pardon granted in the case. However, the new petition is struggling to get the required signatures.