Just months after an international outcry which led to the release of a British tourist imprisoned there, Morocco has jailed two men for having gay sex.

A court sentenced two men on 23 December to three years in prison for “homosexual practices”, the maximum penalty under the law.

The ruling was fast-tracked by the court, after the two men, believed to have been local to the area, were found having sex on 13 December.

According to reports the men were detained and appeared before the public prosecutor the same day.

Ray Cole, 70, a retired magazine publisher from Deal in Kent, was imprisoned in Morocco in October, during a holiday to visit a Moroccan man, Jamal.

Mr Cole, who was released following a pressure campaign, remained strongly critical of Morocco, and described his 20-day experience in the jail as like “a concentration camp”.

Hotel searches for Marrakesh reportedly fell by 46%, just one week after the news broke of Ray Cole’s imprisonment in October.