BEIRUT

Middle East

Jordan arrests 10 gays over get-together party

A Jordanian police official stands guard at the Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN: Jordanian authorities have arrested 10 "gays and lesbians" for holding a get-together at a party hall in east Amman, a security official said on Thursday.

"The administrative governor of the Marka area, Adnan Qatarneh, ordered the arrest of the 10 gays and lesbians after they held a reception at a party hall on Wednesday to get to know each other," he told AFP.

"The arrests were made to prevent a disturbance of the peace," he added, without elaborating.

Homosexuality is not illegal in the conservative desert kingdom, although it is widely seen to be unacceptable.

"There are no laws in Jordan to deal with homosexuality cases," another security official said.

"It is up to administrative governors to decide how to handle such issues, including any period of detention."

In its latest human rights report on Jordan, the US State Department said gays face discrimination there.

"Legal and societal discrimination and harassment remained a problem for women, religious minorities, religious converts, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community," the report said.

 

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