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Report: Another Zimbabwe police raid on LGBT rights group

BREAKING NEWS:

GALZ website
GALZ website

“More than 20 ZRP officers deployed in two trucks have swarmed and are currently raiding GALZ offices in Harare,” according to the Crisis in Zimbabwe page on Facebook.

A later report stated, “Zimbabwean police have begun searching the offices of GALZ in Milton Park for undisclosed ‘data.’ ”

This raid was the second in eight days at the offices of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.

The LGBTI rights group AMSHeR reported that police “forcibly occupied the offices of GALZ for over seven hours with the intention of confiscating advocacy materials, publications and computers.” See the AMSHeR protest against the raids here: “Protest greets Zimbabwe police raids.”

On Aug. 11, police in Zimbabwe raided the Harare office of GALZ, arrested 44 of the LGBT rights group’s members, held them overnight and then released them. That wasn’t the end of the police action.  Within days, police were again detaining GALZ members for questioning.

On Aug. 17, GALZ reported:

Harare police have launched a manhunt of the 44 GALZ members who were beaten and detained before being released without charges last week.

From last night the police have visited the homes of about ten members. It is not clear what they want from the members, so far three of them who were detained, interrogated and their personal details recorded have been released.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights are assisting members who have been summoned to police stations in their respective neighborhoods.

Thirty-one men and thirteen women members were arrested on 11th August 2012 whilst at an after party of the GALZ violations report launch were ordered to give their names, home addresses and other contact details when they were in detention.

The incident occurred when four police officers attempted to gain entry into the premises before calling for back up where about fifteen riot squad members descended on the office and effected arrest. Police, some of them visibly drunk, assaulted most of the members using baton sticks, open hands and clenched fists.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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