Released British gay man Ray Cole describes Moroccan jail as ‘a concentration camp’

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The British man arrested in Morocco and charged with committing homosexual acts has described the conditions of being in a Moroccan jail as “a concentration camp”.

Ray Cole, 70, 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.

Last Thursday he was found guilty of “homosexual acts” and sentenced to four months behind bars, alongside Mr Wald Nass.

After being released yesterday, Ray Cole spoke to reporters at Gatwick Airport on his return to the UK, to reflect on his 20 days in prison. He was given the choice of returning to Britain yesterday or staying one more night in Morocco, he chose the former.

“I did not expect this at all – I thought I was going to be transferred to a different prison. They gave me a choice of staying in Morocco another night or getting the next flight back.

“You would not believe it, it’s horrendous. It’s not a prison, it’s a concentration camp. People are in there from the age of 10 to 80 and 90s for nothing.

“I can hardly move my arm from sleeping on the floor.”

His son Adrian Cole and daughter Gemma Scott-Hake said in a statement: “We are delighted to announce that our dad, Ray Cole has been released from prison and is on his way home. We would like to thank each and every one of you, here and in Morocco who has helped our campaign to secure the release of our wonderful father.

“We would also like to thank the Moroccan authorities for showing compassion. We would ask that you allow us some time a family to absorb the news and to spend some time with dad.”

Ray Cole said of his family’s support: “I’m so proud of them – I could not have a better family.”

Adrian Cole previously described his trial as a “complete farce”, and claimed that the judge did not take into account Mr Cole’s medical conditions.

The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz has today confirmed that he will write to Morocco over Mr Cole’s plight.

This evening’s statement by the Moroccan Embassy did not mention Jamal Jam Wald Nass.