JASS stands in solidarity with members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) community in Zimbabwe in the wake of the most recent incidents of harassment and violence committed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
- On Saturday 11 August 2012, four police officers attempted to gain entry into the GALZ offices in Milton Park suburb, Harare, shortly after the launch of the GALZ Violations Report and the briefing on the Second Draft of the Zimbabwe Constitution done by the Crisis Coalition and the GALZ advocacy committee Chairperson. Approximately fifteen riot squad members descended on the office and arrested 31 men and 15 women, detaining them overnight at Harare Central Police Station without charges.
- Many members were assaulted by police, some of them visibly drunk, with baton sticks, open hands and clenched fists. Police denied lawyers access to all 44 and they were eventually all released on Sunday 12 August.
- From Thursday 16 August police have visited the homes of ten GALZ members, and have detained, interrogated and collected the personal information of three people.
- On Monday 20 August 2012 raided the GALZ offices. The police officers, including some in plain clothes, rummaged through the offices of the organisation and confiscated computers, DVDs, pamphlets, compact discs and various documents.
Harassment and persecution based on sexual orientation are violations of international human rights law. The international principles of human dignity and non-discrimination are protected in the Zimbabwe Constitution, as well as in regional and international treaties to which Zimbabwe is a party so there can be no justification for such harassment or persecution. We demand an end to the continued harassment of human rights defenders and the LGBTI community in Zimbabwe.
What can you do?
- Release statements in solidarity with GALZ, condemning police action and conduct, especially the manner in which they arrested, detained and assaulted the 44 GALZ members.
- Write to the Police Commissioner, the Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) and political leaders to demand a fair investigation of the harassment, a stop to the torture and violence, and open and safe debate on the constitution.
ENSURE THAT LGBTI PEOPLE HAVE RIGHTS AS EQUAL CITIZENS OF ZIMBABWE!
STOP ABUSES HAPPENING NOW!