Zimbabwean cops swarm LGBT group’s HQ – againAround the World Thursday, August 30th, 2012
HARARE, Zimbabwe – The offices of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), a voluntary association founded in 1990 to serve the needs and interests of LGBTI people in Zimbabwe, have been raided by the Zimbabwe Republic Police for the second time in two weeks.
Police seized computers and GALZ literature claiming they were searching for illegal data and offensive materials. Ironically, according to GALZ, some of the machines seized were the same machines that were recently returned to GALZ from a raid on their offices in May 2010.
Pinknews.co.uk reported that at the last raid, 44 GALZ members were arrested – 31 men and 13 women – and taken to Harare Central police station, where they were ordered to give their names, addresses and other personal details. Some members said they were assaulted. None of those arrested were detained under a specific charge.
In a statement released on their Web site GALZ said, “GALZ is disturbed by the continued harassment and the unjust police raids that are severely compromising its efforts to reach out to it’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community … we reiterate our call to the police to end the unjustified harassment of GALZ and its community. Every person in Zimbabwe is entitled to hold opinions and impart ideas without interference. Zimbabweans have a right to assemble freely, associate with other persons and to belong to an association that protects their interests.”
Amnesty International released a statement condemning the police action. The organization’s African Director Audrey Gaughran said, “The police action is a blatant violation of the basic human rights of these individuals. They have not committed any crime under Zimbabwean law.” v
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