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Zambia: Court acquits two men accused of having sex ‘against the order of nature’

14 Jul 2014
[International Secretariat]
Region:
Topic: Sexual Orientation and Sexual Identity

James Mwape and Philip Mubiana, were freed today after having been held for over a year after being charged with having sex “against the order of nature”.(C) Private
James Mwape and Philip Mubiana, were freed today after having been held for over a year after being charged with having sex “against the order of nature”.(C) Private

Today’s court decision to acquit two Zambian men accused of having consensual sex with each other because the case had not been proved beyond reasonable doubt is the right decision for the wrong reasons.

It is appalling that these men have spent over a year in prison awaiting trial charged with something which should not be a crime. To imprison people on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation is unjust and a breach of international law. Amnesty International has always regarded these men to be prisoners of conscience. 



James Mwape and Philip Mubiana were freed today after having been held for over a year after being charged with having sex “against the order of nature. The judge said that the state had not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The Zambian authorities must fulfill their obligations to respect and protect all human rights and end the persecution of individuals on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Homosexuality is considered a crime under Zambia’s penal code, and had they been convicted, the two men would have faced at least 15 years in prison. Both men denied the charges against them.

3 July 2014
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL NEWS FLASH

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