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Zimbabwe Police Arrest 44 in Anti-Gay Raid

Zimbabwe Police Arrest 44 in Anti-Gay Raid


Forty-four gay rights campaigners were reportedly arrested in Zimbabwe during a raid over the weekend.

The raid on Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) headquarters, occurred on Saturday just as the group is preparing to launch a report on persecution LGBTI Zimbabweans suffer.

A statement on the GALZ website alleges that four police officers attempted to gain entry to the building. When they were unable to do so, they then called for back-up. Later, “about fifteen riot squad members” attended the scene and forced entry into the GALZ office. The group also says: “Police assaulted most of the members using baton sticks, open hands and clenched fists before detaining them without charge.”

GALZ staff further charge that human rights lawyers sent on behalf of GALZ to aid the thirty one men and thirteen women detained at Harare Central Police Station were denied access to the detainees.

More information on this comes via allAfrica:

Marufu Mandevere, from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), told SW Radio Africa that the group had gathered for a workshop on the draft constitution and to launch their “Violations Report”, detailing abuses against GALZ members.

“After the workshop they had a party and that is when police cordoned off their offices. They took almost everyone there to Harare Central Station and detained them without charge,” Mandevere explained.

The article referenced above also accuses the police of being “visibly drunk” when they arrived at the scene.

Police have reportedly denied all accusations of an anti-gay raid being carried out, with Police spokesman James Sabau quoted as saying that the GALZ supporters had instead been taken to the police station for “screening.”

Freedom of association is protected under the current version of the Zimbabwe Constitution, but how far that is honored has remained nebulous, especially when it comes to those things, such as homosexuality, that displease Mugabe’s administration or ruling party. In recent months GALZ has even faced charges of breaking Section 33 of the Criminal Law Act, the law used to make it illegal to insult the office of president, for reprinting a letter by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Lewis Brown, Jr, in which he criticized Mugabe.

Zimbabwe law expressly prohibits sodomy and has built on those provisions to virtually outlaw any kind of same-sex contact that is deemed to be inappropriate.


Related Reading:

Mugabe: Gay Rights Deny the Women We Pay For the Chance to be Mothers

Zimbabwe Senator Wants ‘Sex Gadgets’ for Prisoners

Zimbabwe: 5 Men Arrested for Being Gay

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to stevendepolo.

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11:03AM PST on Mar 8, 2013

There is a great need for the international society to become more ingaged in overseeing the implementation of human rights in Zimbabwe to insure the guaranteed protection of every human being in Zimbabwe not only regarding gays and lesbians but also different races, gender or political orientation. This is even more necessary now coinciding with the implementation of the new constitution and forthcoming elections

4:45AM PST on Nov 26, 2012

6:57AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

i sure wish this dictator would be ran out of office,no one has the right to define one's life in terms of their sexuality,this is a blatant disregard of human rights,so sad

2:13PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

May Mugabe's anti-aging treatment make his mugabe shrivel and fall off!
It is very sad to see people in Africa, which was the epicenter of the emergence of Homo Sapiens, 10% of whom are gay, just naturally, treat fellow humans this way.

1:02PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

I wouldn't say "WHAT AN UGLY COUNTRY"'s a people who have been suppressed by an evil dictator named Mugabe for decades and are accustomed to doing what they've been told!

Probably much like the citizens of Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan and....well, you get the idea.

Human minds can be easily bent, can't they? Take a good look at religion some time.

12:58PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Another African nation that is still in the stone age when it comes to respecting people and their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, things every person on Earth deserve and are entitled too. Just one more country I will not donate funds to until they change their policies.

8:54AM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

What an ugly country. Shame on Zimbabwe.

2:32AM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Ah, but NOBODY in Zim has rights anyway, except on paper. Robert and Grace Mugabe, having used Zim's fiscus as their own personal bank account for years, get anti-aging treatment in Switzerland that only the very, very rich can afford. Even so, sooner or later they will feel the hot fire of Hell! them and their henchmen.

Rape is commonplace, of men and women. So is torure, mutilation and murder. So what's the big deal about GALS people geing arrested- it's just another excuse for the glood-glutted police force to have fun beating up helpless people!

8:19PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

This is so sad and horrible. Makesme proud t live in acountry where I am considered an equal, or least not as a criminal.

7:15PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

So i guess that it is ok to arrest someone because you dont agree with their opinion or their right to express it.

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