Marrakech: Moroccan couple arrested for visit to church released

The couple was arrested October 16, and an hour later all released, without any explanation.

A Moroccan was arrested by the police on 16 October of Marrakech after a visit to a local church, an hour later, however, they were released again, but without any explanation.

The couple, a young teacher and his fiancee, was arrested for "the suspicion that they have converted to Christianity", reports the news website Alyaoum24.

They were brought to the police station where an investigation was opened, after witnesses had reported that they had visited several churches in the city on Sundays.

Omar Arbib, head of the Office of the Moroccan Association for human rights (AMDH) in Marrakech, Telquel told that the couple refused to sign and the police report said that they regarded their arrest as arbitrary.

While the case was soon closed, there is still no justification given for the arrest. The couple have not been revealed, but their religion Arbib indicates that this nothing belong.

"This arrest is unfair, because whether they are Christians or not, they have every right to go to a church," said Arbib and added that he feared that the arrest would be based on "discrimination in the exercise of religious freedom".

Since the Moroccan Constitution guarantees a 2011 free exercise of religious beliefs for everyone. The Constitution CITES international conventions and calls for respect for the universal principles of human rights. It determines, however, that this respect for international conventions "should be consistent with the provisions of the Constitution, the constants and the laws of the Kingdom."

The legal legislation prohibits attempts by non-Muslims to "Sunni Muslims to convert" and every Muslim punishable by six months to three years in prison and a fine of 100 to 500 dirham for converting to another religion.

In addition, according to the current Moroccan legislation freedom of conscience be combined in only one sentence: the conversion of Christians or Jews to islam. The opposite is legally and socially condemned.

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