Labour LGBT envoy Michael Cashman: Morocco ‘must face consequences’ for jailing gay British man
Labour’s LGBT rights envoy Michael Cashman has condemned the imprisonment in Morocco of a British man for ‘homosexual acts’.
Ray Cole, 69, a retired magazine publisher from Deal in Kent, was arrested last month, during a holiday to Marrakesh to visit a Moroccan man, Jamal Jam Wald Nass.
On Thursday he was found guilty of ‘homosexual acts’ and sentenced to four months behind bars, alongside Mr Jam Wald Nass.
Mr Cashman, who was appointed by Ed Miliband as his LGBT rights envoy two weeks ago, told PinkNews: “This man should be released immediately. If not, then the Morocaans must face the economic and diplomatic consequences that will follow.”
“What is clear is what I’ve always argued – the rights we enjoy in the United Kingdom are not the same rights when we travel abroad.
“That’s why it’s vital that the UK leads in the European Union, so that where we have trade agreements and association agreements they are based on upholding the rights that we have in common with the EU, and that includes non-discrimination on the grounds of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
“As Labour’s newly-appointed LGBT global envoy, this is part of the work that I will be undertaking with colleague within the UK and within the EU and the Commonwealth, to try to achieve a common set of principles that are based n fundamental human rights.”
Mr Cashman, a co-founder of Stonewall and former Eastenders actor, served as an MEP for 15 years before he retired in May.
He was elevated to the House of Lords in August, and appointed as Labour’s LGBT envoy last month.
Mr Cole’s son Adrian said previously: “The trial was a complete farce, it was just farcical.
“They’ve gone through his phone and found photographs that they’re using as evidence for a homosexual act.
“He’s had a couple of minor strokes before and has a minor heart condition. He has also been suffering with depression, which the court didn’t take into account.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We can confirm the detention of a British national in Morocco. We are providing consular assistance.”
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