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HRW urges Morocco to decriminalize same-sex relations amid outing campaign

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Reacting to an online campaign that outed presumed gay and bisexual men in Morocco, Human Rights Watch urged the government to «both enforce the right to privacy and decriminalize same-sex relations».

In an article published, Monday, the international NGO revealed that «a rash of people have been going on same-sex dating apps since mid-April 2020 to ‘out’ other app users – disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity without their consent».

HRW stressed that this may lead to «ostracization by their family and community, expulsion from housing by relatives and landlords, and dismissal from their jobs».

The «outing» campaign started in mid April after several people created fake accounts on same-sex dating apps, outing  users from Morocco and posting their accounts on social media with insults and threats.

Several people have been expelled from their homes after their families stumbled upon their photos. A 23-year-old gay university student told Human Rights Watch that he was kicked out of his home after his brother knew about his sexual orientation through the same campaign.

«I have been sleeping on the street for three days and I have nowhere to go. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, not even my close friends are able to host me», he told the NGO.

While the representatives of one of the apps involved told HRW that messages were sent to users to inform them of the «outing» campaign, another app has sent a security message to users in Morocco and blocked profiles created since the start of the «outings».

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