a transgender woman beaten in the middle of the street in Morocco

Published on : 15/11/2022 – 18:11

Beaten up, insulted and filmed: on the night of November 11 to 12, a transgender woman was violently attacked by a group of young people in a street in Tangier. Five people were arrested following this attack, videos of which were relayed on social networks. Contacted by the editorial staff of the Observers of France 24, the victim recounts his ordeal.

Two videos of the attack were broadcast on Sunday, November 13, on social networks. We only publish screenshots given their shocking nature.

On a first video, we see a group of young people hitting a person dressed in a dress and holding a wig in his hand. The victim tries to defend herself but she is quickly pinned against a tree by the group who then strikes her a series of blows on the head while uttering homophobic insults.

Screen capture of the video of the assault, posted Sunday, November 13 on Facebook. © Dialogues about religion II [M.A.C] / Facebook

On the second video, the victim tries to escape but is caught by young people and finds himself this time on the ground, beaten in particular at the level of the back and the head.

Screen capture from another video of the attack, posted Sunday, November 13 on Facebook. © Facebook

Shortly after the video was released, Tangier police arrested five young men, aged 13 to 24.

“I was shocked because you can see my face on the video”

Nicknamed “Haifa”, the victim says the assault occurred as she got out of a taxi with two friends:

A kid ripped the cap off one of my friends and threw it at his buddies. They started tossing the cap at each other, making fun of my friend. I then intervened to ask them to return his cap. And that’s when they started beating me and insulting me. The two boys who accompanied me fled, and I remained alone in the middle of this crowd which beat me.

I fought back as best I could, but the punches and kicks didn’t stop. Someone threw thinner in my face, I couldn’t see. Another hit me several times on the head with a hard object, I think it was the handle of a knife.

I finally managed to take refuge in a disco nearby. The bouncers protected me, they kept the attackers out. The police then arrived and asked me if I wanted to file a complaint. But I didn’t want to go to the police station dressed as I was, I didn’t feel reassured.

The next day I found out that the assault had been caught on camera and the video was all over social media. I was shocked because you can see my face on the video and I’m afraid of my parents’ reaction.

I have bumps all over my head and my back is covered in bruises. I went to the hospital for treatment, and the doctor gave me 25 days of sick leave.

Monday, November 14, the police contacted me to announce the arrest of several suspects. So I went to the central police station in Tangier to identify them and file a complaint against them.

A friend contacted LGBT activists and NGOs to raise awareness about my assault. These NGOs provided me with legal aid, I am now supported by five lawyers.

I haven’t slept for two days. I’m still in shock, I still have trouble talking about it.

Tuesday, November 15, the five suspects were to be presented before the King’s prosecutor. They are accused of “being involved in a case of assault and battery on the public highway”.

>> READ ON THE OBSERVERS: In Morocco, a wave of denunciation of homosexuals in full confinement

This is not the first time that a video of aggression against LGBT people in Morocco has circulated on social networks. In March 2016, attackers filmed themselves torturing two men accused of homosexuality in their own apartment in Beni Mellal.

Homosexuality is criminally reprehensible, article 489 of the penal code in Morocco criminalizing “licentious or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex”. Human rights NGOs from the LGBT community have been calling for its repeal for several years, without result.

The article is in French


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