A gay British man who had been sentenced to four months in a Moroccan jail for “homosexual acts” has been released and has arrived back home in the UK.
Ray Cole, 69, had been arrested on 18 September together with his companion Jamal Jam Wald Nass.
The pair, who had met on Facebook, had their phones searched by the police and when they found a photo of the men together they were jailed for four months.
Homosexuality is illegal in Morocco.
News of his imprisonment reached the British press over the weekend, and a social media campaign was organised to petition for his release.
In a statement Mr Cole’s son, Adrian said: “Our legal team in Marrakesh lodged an appeal today.
” It has moved much faster than we expected and the court was able to take the step of releasing my father.
“We would like to express our gratitude as a family to the thousands of people who have offered us their support and kindness.”
Arriving at Gatwick airport, Mr Cole said that his experience in prison had been a “total nightmare”.
“I’ve seen things I never knew existed. It’s not a prison, it’s a concentration camp,” he told waiting reporters.
He said that he had thought he was being transferred to another jail when prison staff approached him yesterday.
“But then they said they were sending me home,” he said.
“And they offered me the choice of spending the night in Marrakesh or getting the next flight home.”
Mr Cole also added that Moroccan laws on homosexuality were “about 100 years out of date”.
He said that he suspected that the 20-year-old Mr Nass might still be in prison but hoped that he would be released soon.