GALZ Statement on the Court Judgement of Ricky Nathanson

Published: February 5, 2014

We welcome the acquittal of Ricky Nathanson on a charge of “Criminal

Nuisance” on Tuesday 4 February by a Bulawayo Magistrate. The unfortunate
arrest of Ricky and the subsequent judgement by Magistrate Abednico
Ndebele proves that the Police continue to use knee-jerk reactions to cases
involving the LGBTI community. It would seem that the officer investigating
Ricky Nathanson’s case acted unilaterally and without proper thought to the
consequences of their actions. Such ignorance of the law flies in the face of
the recently promulgated Zimbabwe Constitution that guarantees the inherent
dignity of people in their private and public life and to have that dignity
respected and protected.
Recent court developments have helped to highlight that the plight of the
LGBTI community in Zimbabwe continues to be at the mercy of dedicated
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and the courts, a situation that can be
ameliorated if the State through the Zimbabwe Republic Police could uphold
and respect the fundamental human rights of all citizens including the lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
This and other court outcomes relating to LGBTI issues, buttresses our call for
the Zimbabwe Republic Police to realign its training curriculum with provisions
of the new Constitution if it seeks to promote effective and efficient service to
the people of Zimbabwe. We impress upon the Police Officers and
Zimbabweans as whole to reflect upon their attitudes towards human
sexuality and gender. This is particularly important in the promotion of a
human-rights culture in Zimbabwe at a time when attitudes to gender and
sexuality are a significant contributing factor in addressing challenges around
HIV.

GALZ also encourages the Zimbabwe Republic Police to support
organisations in the fields of sexual rights and HIV/AIDS to develop sensible
and sensitive strategies for interventions amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and intersex people as well as other marginalized groups//ENDS

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