Outspoken Activist For Gay Rights Arrested In Zambia
Author: M. G.
Thursday 11th of April 2013 02:59:00 PM

The Zambian human right activist Paul Kasonkomona was arrested on Sunday evening for ‘inciting the public to take part in indecent activities'. Policemen stopped him right after his appearance in a TV show on the local independent TV Channel Muvi TV, where Kasonkomona spoke in favour of access to health care for sex workers, prisoners, and sexual minorities. The officers arrived at the TV station while the show was still on air and asked station's management to interrupt the program. The reason for such a reaction is that Kasonkomona also discussed gay marriage a week earlier during the same TV show, and sex work as well as homosexuality is illegal in Zambia - same sex relations can be punished by imprisonment for up to seven years. The management of the television did not permit the program to be interrupted and policemen waited for the activist right out the gate of the building. Kasonkomona is still taken in the Woodland Police Station, waiting for his appearance in court, that was supposed to be yesterday.

Kasonkomona is a member of the Engender Rights Center for Justice, a human rights civil society that campaigns for the rights of gay people, sex workers and people living with HIV/AIDS in Zambia. This is a country where the 98% of the population declare to disapprove homosexual behaviours and whose Home Affairs Minister, Edgar Lungu, declared about gay marriage "We would better remain poor as a nation than to accept some of these norms perpetuated by people with money who want to destroy our society". I do not think that words can describe the horror of this kind of stories. The South African not-for-profit Trust Ndifuna Ukwazi has started an online petition addressed to the Zambian president Michael Sata for the release of Kasonkomona and the only thing we all should do it's just join this organization in asking justice for a brave man.

 

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