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Statement on 16 days of activism event in Bulawayo
Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)
December 07, 2010

GALZ deplores actions by the Zimbabwe Republic Police against Sexual Rights Centre, members of the LGBTI community and activists at a recent event organised by Musasa Project to mark 16 days of activism in Bulawayo. The uninformed and arbitrary decision to ask these members to leave the event only serves to reinforce the bigotry and discrimination of sexual minorities at a platform where organisations such as these are working tirelessly to eradicate sexism and its effects.

Rape and violence of women and children including lesbians and sex workers is on the increase in Zimbabwe and unfortunately the challenges of sexual minorities are not recognised as serious challenges deserving of attention. In situations where such communities stand up to highlight their plight, the police should ensure that sexual minorities freely participate on such platforms that highlight human rights violations. We also call on the Police to respect and uphold the rights of citizens as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as their actions run contrary to the principles of the declaration.

Background

On 1 December 2010 a group of around thirty sex workers and LGBTI members took part in a march organised by Musasa project in Bulawayo to Mark the 16 days of Activism Against Violence Against Women under the banner of Sexual Rights Centre. After the march, the group gathered at the large city hall, police ordered the group to leave the venue of the commemorations because "homosexual acts are against the law in Zimbabwe, they could not be present at this event."

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