Africa’s homophobia problem

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12/23/2019

Human rights activists in southern Africa have criticised Zambia’s tough approach to homosexuality after the country’s High Court sentenced two men last month to 15 years in jail for “crimes against the order of nature”. Arrests for gay sex conduct have been on the rise but no prosecutions have been recorded for same-sex activities in southern Africa. Arrested LGBT activists are being acquitted of same-sex conduct charges for lack of evidence. Yet discrimination, often accompanied by violence, prevails and the Zambian court case offers a frightening reminder of the fear that Africa’s minority sexual identity communities face. The most commonly experienced human rights violations include: violent assault or abuse (29.64 per cent); sexual assault (17 per cent); harassment and intimidation (12.5 per cent); and denial of health access (7.81 per cent ). A total of 142 responses were provided, including legal (25 per cent) and medical (38 per cent) assistance, counselling (17 per cent), shelter (17 per cent) and assistance in reporting to police (4 per cent).

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