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Morocco teen 'kissing trial' adjourned to November

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The trial on Friday of three Moroccan teenagers accused of violating public decency for posting pictures of themselves kissing on Facebook was adjourned until November 22, their lawyer said.

The case, involving a young couple and a male friend who took the photos, has sparked a storm of online protest in Morocco, with activists threatening to stage a public "kiss-in" on Saturday.

The accused, aged between 14 and 15, were arrested last week after posting photos of the couple kissing outside their school in the northern town of Nador and released on bail on Monday, ahead of Friday's trial.

"The girl appeared with her mother but not the boys, who were late. The judge decided to adjourn the trial until November 22," Monaim Fettahi told AFP, speaking by phone from Nador after Friday's brief hearing.

The teens are being tried under Articles 483 and 484 of the kingdom's penal code, which relate to public indecency and indecent assault on a minor, the later carrying a possible prison sentence of five years.

They were arrested after a Moroccan NGO filed a lawsuit last month charging that the photos they published had a negative affect on society and upset people's feelings.

The lawyer said the girl was in a "reassuring psychological state" and planned to return to school after the Muslim Eid festival next week.

The judge decided to adjourn the trial to allow the court "to carry out an inquiry into the social circumstances of the teenagers", Fettahi added.

"The mother told me that her daughter is still very young and wants the case to be closed quickly."

More than 2,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will attend a planned "giant kiss-in" outside parliament in Rabat on Saturday, in protest at the trial.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131011/morocco-teen-kissing-trial-adjourned-november