ZAMBIA: VERDICT IN HOMOPHOBIC TRIAL DUE ON TUESDAY

Amnesty International UK

ZAMBIA: VERDICT IN HOMOPHOBIC TRIAL DUE ON TUESDAY

Two men accused of homosexuality subjected to anal examinations  

Trial comes in same week as Uganda looks set to sign anti-gay bill 

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.

Notes to editors:
The trial of James Mwape and Philip Mubiana is expected to conclude at the magistrate court in Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia on 25 February when the court gives the verdict. If convicted they face at up to 14 years in prison. In 2013 Amnesty documented the rise of homophobia across sub-Saharan Africa in its report Making Love a Crime: Criminalisation of same-sex conduct in sub-Saharan Africa. To arrange an interview please contact the Amnesty press office.

ENDS 

Amnesty International UK media information:
Meera Pattni: 020 7033 1548020 7033 1548meera.pattni@amnesty.org.uk
Out of hours: 07721 39898407721 398984www.amnesty.org.uk
Follow us on Twitter: @Newsfromamnesty
Follow our blog: http://blogs.amnesty.org/pressblog

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