The Economist: The Moroccan government is afraid of turning hotels into brothels


The Economist magazine quoted a former Moroccan minister as saying that the Interior Ministry fears that hotels in the country will be turned into “brothels”.

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The number of tourists arriving in Morocco fell by 78.5% in 2020

According to the magazine, the penalty for having a sexual relationship outside of marriage in Morocco is up to one year in prison under Article 490 of the Criminal Code.

Moroccan police are conducting weekly campaigns to check hotel records to support the law. Front desk staff is also required to check marriage certificates before handing in room keys.

“I get a lot of calls from unmarried people who want to stay,” says Maryam Zniber, who runs a resort in the Rif Mountains. “I can fill my hotel 100 percent if they just repeal this law.”

The government of the new prime minister, Aziz Akhannouch, recently said it would review the entire penal code. However, Akhannouch did not include the “Federal Left” coalition, the only party that has publicly called for the abolition of Article 490, in its ruling coalition.

Meanwhile, social media activists launched tags such as “Love is not a crime” and “Stop 490”, attacked the law and demanded its abolition, noting that Islamic countries like the UAE have begun to abandon these laws, decriminalize sex outside the law , and allow cohabitation. , in a law change this year.

Source: The Economist

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