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Home > fundamentalism / shrinking secular space > ALERT – GAYS AND LESBIANS OF ZIMBABWE (GALZ) RAIDED AND ARRESTED

ALERT – GAYS AND LESBIANS OF ZIMBABWE (GALZ) RAIDED AND ARRESTED

Monday 24 May 2010, by siawi2

On Friday, 21 May 2010, police raided the offices of GALZ in Milton Park, Harare. The police had warrant to search for dangerous drugs and pornographic material citing contravention of Section 157 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 and Section 32 (1) of the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act Chapter 10:04.

GALZ employees, Ellen Chademana and Ignatius Muhambi were arrested and are currently still in detention. It remains unclear what charges will be preferred against the two. There is some concern about Ms Chademana health as she is diabetic and in need of regular meals and medication.

GALZ and OSISA are worried that this initiative by the Central Investigation Organisation bears the hallmarks of the approach used by the Malawi police in the arrest of Stephen Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga and the raid on the offices of the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) earlier this year.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is providing the legal support and advice needed together with lawyer Derek Matyszak, who has a long association with GALZ.

Before statements and advocacy begin, we urge the sector to await advice from GALZ, ZLHR and other Zimbabwean NGOs about the appropriate measures. In the interests of the safety of those on the ground both within LGBTI groups and those who seek to support them we are urging caution at this stage.

GALZ, in collaboration with OSISA and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), will send out a follow up note on Monday, 24 May 2010.

Source: Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa

1st Floor, President Place

1 Hood Avenue / 148 Jan Smuts Avenue

Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa

PO Box 678, Wits, 2050

tel: +27 (0) 11 587 5000

fax: +27 (0) 11 587 5099

web: www.osisa.org