According to a new report from the Human Rights Watch, “two men and 42 others” have been convicted after attending a “gay wedding” in Algeria.

The arrest took place back in July after the police stormed a private residence and arrested 9 women, 35 men.

Most of the attendees were university students from the el-Kharoub district in northeastern Algeria.

According to an Algerian lawyer involved in the case, police reports used descriptions of flowers, sweets, and the men’s “gay appearance” as evidence and reasons to find them guilty.

The two men have been sentenced to three years in prison with a fine and the 42 were handed a one-year suspended sentence.

The ruling was made on 3 September, with the court convicting the 44 people of “same-sex relations.” “public indecency,” and subjecting others to harm by breaking Covid-19-related quarantine measures”.

“‘Algerian authorities’ attack on personal freedoms is nothing new, but arresting dozens of students based on their perceived sexual orientation is a flagrant infringement on their basic rights,” says Rasha Younes, an LGBT researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Even though Algeria has laws protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and has joined the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights, the country still showcases the lack of regard and protection for its LGBTQ+ citizens.