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Ray Cole continues campaign of support for Moroccan partner

Nick Duffy October 13, 2014
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Ray Cole, a British man who was jailed in Morocco for ‘homosexual acts’, is still supporting his Moroccan partner who has now also been released from prison.

Mr Cole, 70, a retired magazine publisher from Deal in Kent, was arrested last month, during a holiday to Marrakesh to visit his Moroccan partner, Jamal.

The pair were found guilty of “homosexual acts” earlier this month after police searched their phones, and both were sentenced to four months behind bars.

They were both released pending appeal after a campaign last week – but Mr Cole says he is still worried for the safety of Jamal.

He told PinkNews: “Unfortunately his friends have got hold of the story, and he can’t go out. He’s stuck at home.

“He’s suffering quite a lot from that, and he desperately wants to leave Morocco.”

On the conditions he was kept in, Mr Cole said: “The holding cell was the closest thing to hell you’ll ever see in your life. The stench and the noise and the screaming… it was absolutely horrifying.

“At the prison we were separated, and taken to separate wings. I only saw Jamal a couple of times in the prison, and we had agreed not to talk to eachother.

“It was pretty dank. In a room designed to hold 44 people, there were over 60 of us. There weren’t enough beds, cockroaches everywhere, and there was one toilet between all of us.

“I had to sleep on the floor – I still suffer aches and pains now.”

He joked: “They feed you, and some of it I did eat and it didn’t kill me so I guess it was okay.”

He warned other gay people travelling to the country: “We were 100% the whole time, we did nothing to draw attention to ourselves. We think someone tipped the police off.

“If you’re meeting a Moroccan person, be very very careful, and don’t take your smartphone with you!

“I will be very surprised now if [the Moroccans] do this kind of exercise again. I don’t think they want to go through this again. The gay community will stick together.”

Related topics: Africa, asylum, England, Gay, Jamal, Michael Cashman, Morocco, Morocco, Nigel Evans, Ray Cole

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