Zambia: Men Face 15 Years In Prison For "Crimes Against Nature"
Amnesty International is pointing us to the struggles of two men imprisoned for months now in Zambia for homosexual acts, or "acts against the order of nature." Philip Mubiana and James Mwape have been in jail for four months now, with their latest trial date again delayed.
“These men should not be facing the courts in the first place. Postponing the trial condemns these men to even more time in prison simply because of outrageous charges against them based on their perceived sexual orientation,” said Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International’s Zambia researcher.
The trial, which was due to start yesterday, was deferred as the presiding magistrate, Mr John Mbudzi, had to attend an urgent family matter. No new date has been confirmed yet.
Philip Mubiana, a hair dresser and James Mwape, a brick layer, were charged with committing acts “against the order of nature”. They have been in custody for more than four months after being denied bail. If convicted they face a minimum of 15 years in jail.
A separate but related trial has Paul Kasonkomona fighting for his freedom after giving a pro-LGBT rights interview in April. He now faces "disorderly conduct" charges for demanding human rights in Zambia.