Dozens of gay men have been detained at an outdoor cruising site in Beijing, China.

According to AFP, a gay rights campaigner claimed that more than 80 men at a forested pick-up spot in Mudanyuan, to the north of the city, on Sunday and Monday.

Guo Ziyang, a project manager at the Beijing Gay Working Group, told the news agency: “According to those who were there, riot and normal police detained more than 80 people on Sunday, made them register and took photos, and then they let them go.

“On Monday night they again went to check IDs but I still don’t know whether people were detained.”

State-run newspaper Global Times reported that the men were forced to have blood tests and give fingerprints.

A spokesman for Beijing police, Zi Xiangdong, said the operation was part of the annual public security inspections ahead of a national holiday on October 1st. The National Day holiday celebrates the founding of communist China.

It is not know what laws the men violated.

China only decriminalised homosexuality in 1997 and it was seen as a mental illness until 2001.