Free Zambian Activist Arrested for Supporting Gay Rights

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Target: Michael Sata, President of Zambia

Goal: Free activist Paul Kasonkomona, who was arrested for statements in support of gay rights

Recently, Paul Kasonkomona, Zambia gay rights activist, was arrested for supporting same-sex relations while on television. Same-sex marriage and all homosexual activity is outlawed in the African country due to the prevailing conservative attitudes and remnants of British colonial laws. While other countries have attempted to help Zambia repeal these laws, they have had no success. Kasonkomona only asked for the decriminalization of same-sex relations, and he was arrested simply for supporting this small step towards equality.

Kasonkomona went on television to ask Zambia lawmakers to decriminalize same-sex relations. Currently, sexual relations between same-sex consenting adults carry a 15-years-to-life prison sentence. Simple hand-holding and kissing can carry a maximum sentence of 14 years, for “indecent same-sex practices“. These laws take away many rights from people to do what they want in the privacy of their homes. No private activities between consenting adults should be prohibited, and they certainly should not carry such a heavy prison sentence. Kasonkomona realized this, but was punished for it.

Kasonkomona’s alleged crime, as stated by the Zambian government, is “inciting the public to take part in indecent activities“. However, arguing for the decriminalization of an activity is not the same as inciting people to take part in it. This incident shows the Zambian government’s woeful misunderstanding of LGBT people. Kasonkomona was not trying to incite any illegal activity, but instead encourage the government to give equal rights to LGBT people. Zambia has a long way to go towards equality, and imprisoning those who try to help is not the way forward. Kasonkomona did nothing wrong, and must be freed.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Sata,

Recently, gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona was arrested for publicly supporting equal rights while on television. Current Zambia laws do not allow consenting adults of the same sex to have any sort of relations with each other. This is a tremendous blow to equality for LGBT people in the country. Kasonkomona did nothing wrong by supporting the legalization of private activities between consenting adults.

I ask you to free Paul Kasonkomona. He was charged with inciting indecent activities, but there is nothing indecent about private activities between consenting adults, no matter their gender. Kasonkomona fought for the equality that should be present in Zambia. He should not be punished for this.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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