RABAT, Oct 23 — Activists seeking to draw attention to violence that Moroccan gays and lesbians suffer at the hands of homophobes have launched a web television series about their plight, they said today.

The first episode of the online series — which is titled “Kaynine” (Arabic for “We Exist”) — covers the experience of a Moroccan homosexual who is only identified as Hamza.

The young man, whose face is not shown, speaks of the “exclusion” he suffers due to his sexuality, including how his mother once put “hot sauce in his mouth” in a bid to “turn him into a man”.

In the clip posted on YouTube, Hamza explains that in class his fellow students used to jeer him, and on the street he would even be stoned.

“The idea is to speak of the violence against sexual minorities by disseminating new testimony in each episode,” Marwan Bensaid, one of those behind the project, told AFP.

“We ask for nothing more than to treat these sexual minorities like the rest of society... as humans and citizens,” he added, calling for a “debate” on the subject.

The first episode of Kaynine was uploaded to YouTube on October 12, and it has since been viewed more than 187,000 times.

Under Moroccan law, people of the same gender who engage in sex can be sentenced to jail for up to three years.

The web series is backed by Aswat magazine, which in May posted a video online as part of a campaign called “Love is not a crime,” calling for civil society to act against homophobia. — AFP