Six men have been jailed in Morocco on various charges including “homosexuality”.
Ahmed Amin Chaabi, from the Moroccan League for the Defence of Human Rights, said the six defendants were convicted on Monday of accusations ranging from “homosexuality, inciting prostitution, mediating in prostitution and being drunk in public.”
AFP reports a court in Faqih Bensalah, around 170km south of Rabat, handed down prison sentences of one, two and three years.
Mr Chaabi said it also ordered the expulsion of the accused from the town once they have served their jail terms, under article 41 of the Moroccan penal code.
The six men were arrested on 17 April after the father of one of them filed a lawsuit against three people, accusing them of encouraging his 19-year-old son to become gay.
Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Morocco with punishments ranging from six months to three years imprisonment and a fine of 120 to 1200 dirhams (£19-£194).
LGBT rights campaigners in Morocco have called on the government to abolish its anti-gay laws, in a video posted on social media ahead of Saturday’s IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia).
But members of the Party of Justice and Development, the Islamist party that heads the coalition government, have strongly criticised the campaign.
“These messages which praise homosexuality are not only harmful to our Muslim culture but amount to breaking the law,”PJD deputy Amina Maa el-Ainein told the Moroccan Parliament on Tuesday.