6 in court facing anti-gay charges in Zambia, Emirates

In recent days, anti-homosexuality laws have resulted in three court cases involving six defendants in two countries:

Zambia: 11 months in prison with no conviction, no bail

Jailed in Zambia for months on homosexuality charges, defendants James Mwape and Philip Mubiana await the end of their ongoing trial.
Jailed in Zambia for 11 months on homosexuality charges, defendants James Mwape and Philip Mubiana await the end of their ongoing trial.

The trial of James Mwape and Philip Mubiana has been adjourned to April 4, Zambian activists report. The magistrate handling the matter was said to be attending a workshop.

The two young men have been in prison for 11 months without being convicted of any offense. Repeated requests for bail have been denied or delayed.

The case had been scheduled to proceed today (March 26). The magistrate ruled that the prosecution had presented a case that was strong enough to require a defense.

Mubiana and Mwape have been in custody since May 6, 2013, following their arrest when family members in rural Kapiri Mposhi reported them to police.  They are facing two counts each of committing offenses “against the order of nature.” If convicted, they would face prison sentences of 15 years to life.

United Arab Emirates: 6-month sentence affirmed

Pink News reports:

A court in the United Arab Emirates has upheld a six month jail term handed to two men who are alleged to have had sex.

State-run newspaper The National is reporting that the Federal Supreme Court has upheld a sentence against the two men, who had previously been convicted of intentionally committing acts of ‘sodomy’.

According to the paper, the prosecution reports said there was ‘forensic evidence’ that the men had sex.

The unnamed men, who are both Muslim, told the court they contest the claims, and say they were coerced by police into confessing to the crime.

They will face deportation after serving their sentence.

Homosexuality is strongly criminalised in the UAE, and carries penalties ranging from a month in prison to the death penalty.

Zambia: Two men plead innocent to homosexuality charge

Two men in Chisamba, central Zambia, pleaded not guilty to homosexuality charges.

The case involves Jacob Botha, 36, a teacher, and Jackson Lungu, 22, a casual worker at Zesco.

Their trial was scheduled to start April 16.

Media reports claimed that the men had been “living as husband and wife” for three years.

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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 Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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