Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

17 December 2010

Zimbabwe court acquits LGBT activist

Zimbabwe court acquits LGBT activist

Amnesty International has welcomed a Zimbabwe court's decision to acquit a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activist charged with possession of pornographic materials.

Ellen Chademana, an administrative assistant at the prominent NGO Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), was acquitted by a magistrate's court in Harare on Thursday.

The charges followed an armed police raid on the GALZ offices in Milton Park Harare in May. Ellen Chademana was arrested and detained for six days in Harare Central Police Station with a colleague, Ignatius Mhambi. Both were released on bail while the police investigation continued. Ignatius Mhambi was acquitted of his charges in July.

"Ellen Chademana and other staff members of GALZ have faced repeated harassment for carrying out legitimate work to protect the rights of Zimbabwe's LGBT community," said Michelle Kagari of Amnesty International

"Though delighted with her acquittal we continue to urge the unity government and police to end the persistent harassment of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe."

Ellen Chademana told Amnesty International that she was happy with the judgement but that she was now worried about her security.

On Wednesday evening before the court judgement, police visited the GALZ offices and demanded entry by threatening the security personnel with arrest.

"This was obviously an act of intimidation by the police and an abuse of their authority," said Michelle Kagari.

“The police must acknowledge the role of all LGBT rights defenders by putting an end to their harassment and ensuring their protection and security.”

Issue

Activists 
Detention 
Discrimination 
Freedom Of Expression 
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 

Country

Zimbabwe 

Region

Africa 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

29 July 2014

Burundi’s ruling party is perpetrating a relentless campaign of intimidation against government critics and its youth wing is carrying out crimes with impunity ahead of next... Read more »

30 July 2014

A year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material,  the US authorities should grant her clemency, release her immediately, and urgently... Read more »

22 July 2014

Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said.

Read more »
30 July 2014

The persecution of human rights activists continues unabated in Azerbaijan, in spite of the obligations the country committed to as a member of Council of Europe and currently... Read more »

30 July 2014

An attack overnight on the Jabaliya elementary school in Gaza, where more than 3,000 displaced civilians had sought refuge, is a possible war crime and should be independently... Read more »