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partner guide to arrest of "GALZ 44"
Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)
August 17, 2012
officers attempted to gain entry into the GALZ premises shortly
after the launch of the GALZ Violations
Report and the briefieng of the Second
Draft of the Zimbabwe Constitution done by the Crisis
Coalition advocacy committee Chairperson on Saturday 11 August
2012. About fifteen riot squad members descended on the office and
effected arrest.Thirty one men and thirteen women members were detained
overnight at Harare Central Police Station on 11 August 2012. Police,
some of them visibly drunk, assaulted most of the members using
baton sticks, open hands and clenched fists before detaining them
without charge. Police denied lawyers access to all 44, however
all 44 on Sunday 12 August without charge.
that the rights of it members were violated and thus request support
to highlight the State's hand in curtailing individual freedoms
through the actions of ZRP.
right to be free from torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
beaten, verbally abused, and were forced to assault each other.
Transgender people were verbally abused and their gender questioned.
The police further violated participants' right to not be subjected
to inhuman and degrading treatment in terms of section 15 of the
when they assaulted participants using baton sticks, open hands
and clenched fists. No basis in law exists which justified the limitation
of these rights in these circumstances.
to protection from arbitrary arrest
suspected of having a gay or lesbian identity were detained for
attending the GALZ meeting. This detention was illegal, as these
members committed no offence. Arresting someone on the presumption
of their sexuality is to all intent and purposes "illegal".
The police violated sections 13, 17 and 18 of the current Zimbabwe
Constitution by unlawfully arresting people without a valid reason,
subjecting them to an unlawful search of their person and property,
and denying them access to their legal representatives.
to freedom of association and assembly were violated as the 44 were
subsequently arrested for being at the GALZ office at that particular
moment. Sections 20 and 21 of the Zimbabwe Constitution protect
the right to freedom of expression, assembly and association. Every
person in Zimbabwe is entitled to hold opinions and impart ideas
without interference. Every person in Zimbabwe has the right to
assemble freely, to associate with other persons, and to belong
to associations which protect their interests.
In a democratic
society, the launching of a report on human rights violations perpetrated
against the LGBTI community, and the dissemination of information
regarding the contents of the second draft Zimbabwe Constitution
should be encouraged.
not remain the preserve of a select group in any society.
can you do?
- Release statements
alone or in jointly with GALZ, condemning police action and conduct
on the manner in which they arrested and detained the 44 GALZ
- Express concern
on the continued harassment of GALZ members with the continuing
home visits by the police
- Condemn the
use of violence by the police during the arrest
- Write to
the Police Commissioner and demand an investigation into the conduct
of the police on duty summoned to arrest the GALZ members
Visit the GALZ
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