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First charges brought under 'gay hatred' law

Two men have been charged with stirring up gender hatred for handing out leaflets outside a mosque suggesting that gay people should be executed.

It is the first time that anyone has been prosecuted for an offence of inciting hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The men charged were named last night as Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27. They are accused of handing out a leaflet entitled "The Death Penalty?" in Derby.

The leaflets, which were also pushed through letterboxes, are understood to have called for homosexuals to be executed.

The defendants will appear at Derby Magistrates' Court today.

Sue Hemming, a lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The charges relate to the distribution of a leaflet, 'The Death Penalty?', outside the Jamia Mosque in Derby in July 2010 and through letterboxes during the same month.

"This is the first-ever prosecution for this offence and it is the result of close working between the Crown Prosecution Service and Derbyshire Police."