A gay rights activist and HIV campaigner has been granted bail in Zambia, having called for same-sex relationships to be decriminalised.

Paul Kasonkomona was arrested last Sunday following a live television appearance in which he argued for same-sex relationships to be decriminalised in the African nation.

Officers reportedly tried to cut the interview short, but managers of the television station refused.

The 38-year-old appeared in court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to being idle and disorderly in a public place.

The BBC reports Mr Kasonkomona was ordered to pay 5,000 kwacha (£605) and the trial is due to start on 15 May 2013.

In a separate case at Zambia’s High Court, his lawyers are suing for unlawful detention as he was kept in police cells for more than 48 hours before being charged.

Laws in Zambia prohibit same-sex sexual activity between both males and females.

Mr Kasonkomona could face one month in prison or a fine if he is found guilty.

Earlier this week, South Africa-based campaign group Ndifuna Ukwazi demanded Mr Kasonkomona’s release, in an online petition addressed to Zambia’s President Michael Sata.