3 July 2014

Zambia: Court Acquits Two Men Accused of Having Sex 'Against the Order of Nature'

press release

Today's court decision to acquit two Zambian men accused of having consensual sex with each other because the case had not been proved beyond reasonable doubt is the right decision for the wrong reasons, Amnesty International said today.

"It is appalling that these men have spent over a year in prison awaiting trial charged with something which should not be a crime," said Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International's Zambia researcher.

"To imprison people on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation is unjust and a breach of international law. Amnesty International has always regarded these men to be prisoners of conscience."

James Mwape and Philip Mubiana, were freed today after having been held for over a year after being charged with having sex "against the order of nature". The judge said that the state had not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.

"Freeing the two men is the right decision, but sadly it was reached for the wrong reasons. The Zambian authorities must fulfil their obligations to respect and protect all human rights and end the persecution of individuals on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity."

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Amnesty International. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.