Casablanca — The red city again makes the news for homosexuality-related arrests.A 70-year-old Spanish man and a Moroccan citizen in his 20s were arrested on Thursday, November 24, on charges of homosexuality. The men were caught laying in the same hotel bed by a cleaning lady, who immediately notified hotel management, which then contacted the police, reports AlYaoum24.According to the Aswat Collective, a Moroccan organization fighting for human rights, the Spanish national was released while the Moroccan man still remains in custody of local authorities. In regards to the case, Omar Arbib, member of Marrakech’s Moroccan Association for Human Rights, told HuffPost that “this kind of arrest needs to stop in Morocco.” “It’s not normal. These are two adults who should be allowed to exercise their independence, but Moroccan law states that they risk up to three years in prison,” adds Arbib.In Morocco, homosexuality is punishable by up to three years in jail and a fine of up to 1200 dirhams. Last month, a similar case was widely publicized. Two girls, Hajar and Sanae, aged 16 and 17, were reported to the police after a family friend had seen them kissing on a Marrakech terrace. After a few days of detention, they were granted temporary release on November 1. The two minors are set to receive their verdict tomorrow.Hajar and Sanae’s arrest got a lot of attention from Moroccan and international media. Leïla Slimani, the French-Moroccan writer who was recently awarded the prestigious literary prize, the ‘Prix Goncourt,’ publicly spoke out earlier this month against the girls’ arrest. In an interview on the French TV show, “C à Vous,” Slimani stated that Article 489 “takes away the dignity of citizens and contributes to their humiliation.”The United Nations Human Rights Committee has urged Morocco to decriminalize homosexuality, as reported earlier this month. Nevertheless, given the controversy of the issue in the majority-Muslim country, it is unlikely that the law will change anytime soon.
A US POLITICIAN has told an audience that evolution and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell”.Republican congressman Paul Broun, who is a doctor, made the comments during a speech at a dinner in Georgia which was videotaped. Broun is running unopposed for reelection in November.In the video, the congressman said he has come across scientific data that proves the Earth is less than 9,000 years old and was created in six days.“God’s word is true,” he told the audience at a banquet held in a church last month. “And I’ve come to understand that”.All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the Big Bang theory: all of that is lies straight from the pit of hell.He added:It’s lies to try and keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a saviour. Bround said that “as a scientist” he had found a lot of scientific data that proved that the Earth is much younger than many people believe.“I don’t believe that the earth is but about 9,000 years old,” he said. “I believe that it was made in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible tells us”.Broun has a degree in chemistry from the University of Georgia as well as a medical degree. In the House of Representatives he sits on the government committee with responsibility for science.A spokeswoman for Broun told Georgia newspaper the Athens Banner-Herald that Broun was speaking off the record to a church group about his personal religious beliefs.Around one hundred people have left comments on Broun’s Facebook page criticising his comments, with some calling on him to resign. He has also been heavily criticised by Twitter users.Broun is not the first member of the House Science Committee to attract public attention for his comments in recent months: another Republican member, Todd Akin, came under fire in August when he claimed that victims of “legitimate rape” have biological defences which prevent pregnancy.(Video: BridgeProject21/YouTube)Photos: Oldest cave paintings ‘may not have been made by modern man’ >Read: Extinct ‘giant penguin’ species reconstructed from fossils >