Arrested for a Kiss

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(Illustrative photo: Flickr/Miyoko)

Two young Algerians, a girl and a boy, recently lived through a nightmare. Following a simple kiss and a hand on the shoulder, the couple found  themselves under arrest.

Thinhinane Makaci and Moumouh Kadi were accused by the police of “disturbing the public order and indecent assault.”   They were interrogated for over an hour at a police station in the heart of Algiers.

The police clearly insinuated to the couple: “We are in a Muslim country” and “certain gestures are not tolerable in public!”

One of the policemen even pretended that there was legislation in Algeria that banned kissing or emotional gestures deemed “immoral” for boys and girls in public places.

Thinhinane and Moumouh, fortunately, did not give in to the pressure of the police. They demanded that they be shown the so-called “law” to which the policeman was referring.

Facing the tenacity of the couple, the policemen backed down and eventually released them. In the end, they confided to them that they just wanted to them to have respect and display “good manners.”



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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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