Spain apologises for jailing homosexual in the 1970s

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Spain has apologised to a man jailed for being homosexual in the 1970s under a law introduced by General Francisco Franco.

Antoni Ruiz, 50, has become the first Spaniard to receive official recognition of his suffering more than three decades after he was imprisoned for his sexual orientation.

An estimated 5,000 men served prison sentences during the dictatorship of Gen Franco when homosexuality was made illegal but Mr Ruiz was one of the few sentenced for the crime following the death of the dictator in November 1975.

In 1976, at the age of 17, Mr Ruiz, from Valencia, told family members that he was gay. At the time homosexuality was still banned and when his parents confided in a Catholic monk, he denounced their son to the authorities.

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