Zimbabwe riot police arrest 44 gay activists

Forty-four members of Zimbabwe's LGBT organization - GALZ - were violently arrested yesterday by riot police squad and released without being charged this morning

Zimbabwe riot police arrest 44 gay activists
12 August 2012

Forty-four members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) were brutally arrested yesterday and released today (12 August) without charges.

Four Zimbabwe police officers attempted to gain entry to the GALZ office in the nation’s capital, Harrare on Saturday (11 August).

The police officers called for back up and around 15 riot squad officers descended on the office and effected arrest.

The riot squad and police officers were reported to have assaulted most of the members using baton sticks, open hands and clenched fists before detaining them without charge.

One member was reported to be bleeding through the ear after the assault.

Thirty-one men and 13 women members were detained at Harare central police station over night.

Zimbabwean human rights lawyers were denied access to see them.

The arrests came following the launch of the GALZ ‘Violations Report’ and briefing on the second draft Zimbabwe constitution.

GALZ reported that ‘all 44 members have now been released and are we are working with them to assess their condition and well-being.’

Male homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe and in 2006 the country’s government amended the law which now states that sodomy is any ‘act involving contact between two males that would be regarded by a reasonable person as an indecent act’, thereby criminalizing even holding hands, hugging, or kissing.

In 1995, the country’s president, Robert Mugabe, came across a GALZ stall in an international book fair in Harrare and stated: ‘I find it extremely outrageous and repugnant to my human conscience that such immoral and repulsive organizations, like those of homosexuals, who offend both against the law of nature and the morals of religious beliefs espoused by our society, should have any advocates in our midst and elsewhere in the world.’

Two weeks later during Zimbabwe’s annual independence celebrations Mugabe proclaimed: ‘It degrades human dignity.

‘It’s unnatural, and there is no question ever of allowing these people to behave worse than dogs and pigs.

‘What we are being persuaded to accept is sub-animal behavior and we will never allow it here. If you see people parading themselves as lesbians and gays, arrest them and hand them over to the police!’

Since then, President Mugabe has increased the political repression of Zimbabwe’s LGBT community. GALZ has been repeatedly subjected to harassment.

Members of the Zimbabwe’s LGBT community have been repeatedly detained, beaten and sometimes even raped by the authorities.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Former Montana governor makes bizarre comment: ousted Repubican Eric Cantor sets off his 'gaydar'

Brian Schweitzer: 'Men in the South, they are a little effeminate'
No thumbnail available

Lesbian musician Heather Peace announces new tour

BBC Lip Service TV star and musician has revealed she will perform at the legendary gay festival Sydney Mardi Gras
No thumbnail available

Kathy Griffin to take over for late friend Joan Rivers as host of Fashion Police

'These are some big shoes I'm going to fill. Joan was truly one of a kind'
No thumbnail available

The 7 highs (and heels) of Nice's first LGBTI carnival

Lou Queernaval in France was a massive hit – with drag queens and leather daddies marching side by side
No thumbnail available

Watch what happens when a gay couple is harassed in a restaurant

A gay couple enters into a Mexican eatery in Mississippi and you will not believe what happens next
No thumbnail available

Chilean defense attorney abandons Zamudio murder case

A court hearing for the gay bashing and murder of Daniel Zamudio is rescheduled after the defendants’ lawyer Claudio Cofré refuses to appear in court 
No thumbnail available

British gay grandad ‘beaten to death’ outside LGBT bar

Two men aged 26 have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a 63-year-old man has died from blunt force trauma to the head
No thumbnail available

A secret gay dad shares the joy of seeing his daughter for the first time

A gay Indian – who has married a woman for the sake of his family – shares his story of the moment he became a dad
No thumbnail available

Project Runway's Tim Gunn really hates Kim Kardashian's book of selfies

'To all the young people out there in particular: Banish this... This is disgusting and vile'
No thumbnail available

Discover everything that Gay Star News has to offer

More than just news, we bring you the LGBTI world - 24/7!