Zambia: Verdict In Homophobic Trial Due On Tuesday

Amnesty International is calling on Zambian authorities to end the persecution of individuals based on their perceived sexual orientation. It comes as the trial of two Zambian men accused of having sex “against the order of nature” is set to conclude next Tuesday.

James Mwape and Philip Mubiana have been imprisoned since May 2013. Both men, aged 22, were subjected to forcible anal examinations by government doctors in an attempt to “prove” their involvement in sexual activity. These examinations are tantamount to torture.

Amnesty regards both men to be prisoners of conscience and is calling for their immediate and unconditional release. 

Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International’s Zambia Researcher said: “There has been a string of violent attacks and state prosecutions of people believed to be gay or lesbian in Zambia.

Police as well as members of the public have carried out homophobic attacks on individuals perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. These attacks have been instigated by a series of inflammatory statements made by senior government officials instructing the public to report anyone they suspect of being a homosexual or “promoting homosexuality.”

Zambian authorities must end their cycle of oppressive, violent and degrading treatment of LGBTI people. Amnesty demands they honour their obligation under international law to investigate and prevent further homophobic attacks.

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