Young Moroccan Victim of Violent, Homophobic Assault in Spain

Young Moroccan Victim of Violent, Homophobic Assault in Spain. Photo: elDiario

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A 19- years-old Moroccan residing in Spain was violently assaulted in Madrid because of his sexual orientation on December 22, Spanish outlet elDiario has reported.

According to the news outlet, the young Moroccan is an LGBTI asylum seeker who resides in the city of Madrid’s council reception center “Las Caracolas.” The center is located in the Vallecas neighborhood, where the young Moroccan was assaulted in a district park. 

The incident occurred when a random man approached the young Moroccan, calling him pejorative names and asking if he was a “fag.” The man proceeded to attack him, stabbing his arm.  The victim went to the nearest health center to visit the doctor and receive five stitches on his arm wound.

In its report, elDiario quoted the young Moroccan as saying that this type of aggression is what made him flee Morocco and seek asylum in Spain

“These things that happened to me in Spain are traumatic because they make me relive the situations that I lived in Morocco and feel in an insecure context.”

The victim confessed to having felt imprisoned under Morocco’s law that penalizes homosexual people. He said he had to live through many episodes of social, family, and other types of discrimination.

In Morocco, same-sex relationships are illegal and punishable by six months to three years in prison and a fine of MAD 200 to 1,000 ($20 to $100).

The young Moroccan also mentioned how he has been striving in Spain to quickly have his paper issues resolved. Having his papers, he explained, filled with hope despite his ongoing tribulations due to his sexual orientation, will help him find a job so he can see his mother again who he has not seen since 2019.

Kifkif, an organization that defends and represents LGBTQ+, migrants, and refugees in Spain, accompanied the young Moroccan to the police to file a complaint. They also showed the Spanish police evidence of the assaults he suffered from on social media.

Read also:Human Rights Watch Calls on Morocco to Ensure LGBTQ Rights

The organization also helped the Moroccan victim meet others in situations similar to his own. Together, they are part of a group called “Ahbab.” 

The group, made up of people from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that are part of the LGBTI community, provides its members with the chance to socialize and exchange experiences and think together of solutions to their issues.

Many members of the LGBTQI+ community lived through homophobic incidents in Morocco and elsewhere in the MENA region.  In April 2020, Naofal Moussa, also known as Sofia Talouni, a Moroccan social media influencer living in Turkey that identifies as transgender, targeted Moroccan gay men in an Instagram live video by calling on women to download gay dating apps to find which men near them are gay.

The influencer’s live video contained many homophobic slurs and prejudiced comments. She also denounced homosexuality and said if she ever finds out Morocco recognizes homosexuality, she will be the first to stand up against it.

The incident resulted in the revelation of the identities and personal information of many Moroccan LGBTQ+, leading to dangerous consequences such as parents disowning their kids and even more violent street assaults. 

In the wake of Moussa’s homophobic video, a member of the Moroccan LGBTQ community told Morocco World News, “The law is not on our side, society is not on our side, and there is no queer Moroccan recognized organization to fight [for our rights].”