Two men jailed and tortured for gay sex to face trial in Zambia

Amnesty International has demanded the release of two Zambian men accused of sodomy who were tortured in custody

Two men jailed and tortured for gay sex to face trial in Zambia
06 March 2014

Two men jailed and tortured for gay sex will be facing trial in the Zambia on 13 March.

Philip Mubiana and James Mwape, both 21, could face up to 14 years in jail on top of the time they have already spent imprisoned over sodomy charges

The State has now lined up eight witnesses in the case against the two men, charged with four counts of having ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature’ in April and May last year.

When the men were arrested on 2 May, they were brought to Kapiri Mposhi District Hospital for police to obtain medical evidence by torture.

During ‘anal probe’ procedures, a forensic medical ‘doctor’ examines the anus of a suspect for ‘proof’ he engaged in anal sex and checks for traces of sperm.

The ‘doctor’ also takes a picture to ‘study’ the shape of the hole – the larger the width the more ‘likely’ the person is gay, according to this discredited theory.

But the tests are scientifically nonsensical and human rights organizations have condemned them for being inconclusive, degrading and a form of torture.

Dr Bandula, who investigated the men, claimed in court that he had discovered evidence of a sexually transmitted infection– that ‘proves’ the couple had had gay sex recently.

The laboratory ‘tests’, however, came out normal.

The couple were arrested and charged after a complaint from one of the accused person’s older sister.

Amnesty International have demanded the ‘unconditional’ release of the two men, stating the laws under which they are charged ‘contravene international human rights law.’

There are growing fears for the safety of LGBTI people in Zambia, with the country expected to be one of the next African countries to legalize harsher homophobic laws in the near future.

Zambian Home Affairs minister Edgar Lungu recently said: ‘Those advocating gay rights should go to hell, that is not an issue we will tolerate.

‘There will be no such discussion on gay rights. That issue is foreign to this country.’

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