Detention, Harassment and Intimidation of GALZ members
1 April 2011
GALZ notes with grave concern, cases related to arbitrary detentions, harassment and intimidation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members of the organisation by law enforcement agents, family and community leaders.
On the 23rd March 2011, law enforcement agents stormed the house of a male member who was in the company of four male friends. The law enforcement agents conducted a search of the premises without a search warrant. After the search, the agents took the names of all present and detained them at a Police
post. The five were taken to the police station and charged with Disorderly Conduct. Whilst at the police station, the police abused and ridiculed the five. All five individuals were fined US$10 with an extra charge of US$30 to entice the officer into receipting the fines.
On the 25th March 2011, law enforcement agents detained two female members of GALZ after they were taken to the police station by relatives on allegations of practising homosexuality. The two members were interrogated separately and threatened with arrest if they denied the charges. Police officers seized the
members’ mobile phones and called people in the contacts list to ascertain the nature of the two members’ relationship. While at the police station, members were verbally abused and had photographs taken by law enforcement agents who threatened to send the photographs to a local tabloid.
Again on 25 March, two female members were threatened by a local ward councillor who alleged that they were homosexuals.
All cases have been referred to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.