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Five Men On Trial In Derby For Urging Execution Of Gays

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Five men are to go on trial on Monday accused of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation in the first prosecution of its kind.

Ihjaz Ali, 42, Mahboob Hassain, 45, and Umer Javed, 38, first appeared in court last January to face the charges.

Two other men, Razwan Javed, 28, and Kabir Ahmed, 27, were also charged with the same offence.

The charges related to an allegation that the men handed out a leaflet called "The Death Penalty?" outside a mosque in Derby, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The leaflet is understood to have called for homosexuals to be executed.

CPS lawyer Sue Hemming 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."

The men will go on trial at Derby Crown Court today.

Ali, Hassain and Umer Javed are charged with three counts each of an offence of sending letters with intent to cause distress or anxiety under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988, the CPS said.

Ali is also charged with three offences, contrary to section 5 (b) of the Public Order 1986, in relation to the distribution of leaflets outside the Jamia Mosque.

He faces a further four counts of distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, contrary to section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986.

Hassain and Umer Javed are both also charged with two counts each contrary to section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986.

Razwan Javed and Ahmed are both charged with one count each contrary to section 29C (1) of the Public Order Act 1986.