Ten gay and lesbian people have been arrested in Jordan for holding a get-together in a party hall.

The arrests took place in east Amman, a security official confirmed on Thursday, saying they were made to “prevent a disturbance of the peace”.

“The administrative governor of the Marka area, Adnan Qatarneh, ordered the arrest of the 10 gays and lesbians after they held a reception at a party hall on Wednesday to get to know each other,” he told the AFP.

“The arrests were made to prevent a disturbance of the peace,” he went on.

Despite being widely seen as unacceptable, homosexuality is not illegal in Jordan.

A second security official said: “There are no laws in Jordan to deal with homosexuality cases.

“It is up to administrative governors to decide how to handle such issues, including any period of detention.”

The State Department in the US gave a report recently on the situation for gay people in Jordan, which found that they face extreme discrimination.

“Legal and societal discrimination and harassment remained a problem for women, religious minorities, religious converts, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community,” read the report.