Zambian police have arrested and charged a gay couple after the family of one of the men reported the relationship to authorities.

AFP reports James Mwape, 20, and Philip Mubiana, 21, from the northern town of Kapiri Mposhi, will appear in court on Wednesday.

“The two have been charged with the offence of sodomy or having sex against the order of nature contrary to the laws of Zambia,” said central province police chief Standwell Lungu.

Sentences of 14 years can be issued for those convicted of same-sex sexual activity in Zambia.

Human rights activist Josab Changa said: “Arresting them is an infringement on their human rights. Human rights should be respected irrespective of the perceived evil that somebody may do.”

Last month, gay rights activist and HIV campaigner Paul Kasonkomona was arrested following a live television appearance in which he argued for same-sex relationships to be decriminalised in the African nation.

His trial is due to start next week.