Target: Harare Mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda
Goal: End discrimination against LGBT group in Zimbabwe
Recently, more than forty members of Zimbabwe’s gay and lesbian activist group GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) were held in prison overnight after a police raid on a local office. This is only the latest in decades-long harassment incidents that have plagued the group since its inception in 1990. GALZ had no physical offices until 1996, as they feared their LGBT literature and media would be confiscated by police. This fear was legitimized in 1993 when two lesbian activists had their personal offices raided and never saw the police-confiscated material again. GALZ was forced to rotate to different venues around the capital city of Harare over the course of their first six years, unable to secure a permanent home.
Zimbabwe currently criminalizes sexual activity–even consensual–between two men. However, Zimbabwe’s constitution allows for freedom of association so there is no criminalization of people for simply identifying as LGBT, or for having material related to LGBT rights. The police raids and confiscations on GALZ are discriminatory and illegal because of this constitutional freedom.
As Harare is the capital and largest city of Zimbabwe, and the main LGBT group for the country resides there, Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda must call on the police force to end this harassment and allow GALZ to continue their work free of fear.
Dear Mayor Masunda,
The Zimbabwe gay and lesbian group, GALZ, has been in operation since 1990, and they have faced harassment at the hands of police for the past two decades. Although Zimbabwe’s constitution allows for freedom of association, GALZ was not able to secure an office for six years due to fears of police raids.
On August 11, 2012, more than forty members of GALZ were arrested and taken into custody overnight after police raided their office. None of the members were charged with any crime. I ask you to speak out against this discriminatory police harassment and allow GALZ to move forward with their work peacefully.
[Your Name Here]