Morocco Gay Arrest Alert
A British tourist who was arrested at a bus stop in Morocco for being gay and sentenced to four months in a hellhole local jail, was released early and flown back to England this week, after his family successfully campaigned for his release.
Ray Cole, 69, was forced to sleep on the floor of a cramped jail cell alongside 60 prisoners including murderers and rapists after cops reportedly discovered compromising photos on his phone.
His son Adrian launched a petition calling for his Dad’s release detailing what happened.
“On September 18 my father, Ray Cole, and his companion, Jamal Jam Wald Nass, were approached at a bus stop by police officers and detained on the grounds of suspected homosexuality.
Police searched their mobile phones and found a photograph of the two men together, which was used in court as ‘proof’ of homosexual acts.”
“We now know his situation and it’s devastating. He’s in a very bleak place. He’s in a cell with people who have committed murders and raped. He is being fed boiled vegetables once a day.”
Speaking to the BBC at Gatwick Airport, Mr Cole said prison conditions had been appalling.
‘It was a total nightmare. I’ve seen things I never thought existed,” he said, “You would not believe it, it’s horrendous. It’s not a prison it’s a concentration camp,” he added.
Before his release, Charlie Elphicke, the Conservative MP for Dover, criticised Morocco’s entire criminal justice system.
it is clear that if you visit Morocco you are at serious risk of facing trumped up charges for medieval crimes,” he told the Guardian, “The message is clear – Morocco is not safe for British tourists.”
UK Foreign Office Travel advice: “Local laws reflect the fact that Morocco is an Islamic country. Sexual relations outside marriage are punishable by law. Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Morocco.
Women, especially when travelling alone, may attract attention To minimise hassle, you should dress modestly and avoid wearing clothes that could be regarded as provocative (eg short skirts and low-necked strappy tops), except on the beach.”