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Jun-12-2013 14:44printcomments

Zimbabwe: Raid on the Offices of LGBTI Rights Organisation GALZ

The latest incident comes in the context of a very difficult climate for LGBTI rights defenders in Zimbabwe.

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe photo courtesy:ibtimes.com

(YORK, UK) - On 6 June 2013, at approximately 11am, five unknown assailants wielding hammers forced entry into the Harare offices of human rights organisation Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)

GALZ is an association founded in 1990 that advocates social tolerance for sexual minorities and the repeal of homophobic legislation in Zimbabwe.

On the morning of the raid, the assailants gained entry by disguising one of their group as a mentally challenged person and driving in whilst this member threatened the security personnel at the gate with a hammer. Upon entry, the assailants forced all staff present into the Guard Room and locked them there whilst they ransacked the offices, gathering laptops, mobile phones and bags which contain sensitive information about the work of the organisation and individual members.

It is believed that the incident was not a normal robbery, but an attack carried out under orders, as the assailants frequently made contact over the phone with an unknown person called Machacha from an unknown 'security wing'. In a statement, the targeted organisation explained; “GALZ is not taking this incident as a random act of attempted robbery but that of deliberate attack by the youth militia, acting on the orders of someone superior.”

The police arrived swiftly and arrested the assailants, who have now been taken for further questioning at Harare Central Police Station. No members of staff were injured during the raid, and most of the equipment which the assailants had gathered has been returned to GALZ.

The latest incident comes in the context of a very difficult climate for LGBTI rights defenders in Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe has in the past made some extremely homophobic comments. Last year, attempts were made to enshrine LGBTI rights in the country's new constitution, but were unsuccessful.

Salem –News.com's Human Rights Ambassador welcomes the swift action of the Zimbabwean police, but remains concerned about the motives behind the raid, which are possibly related to the peaceful and legitimate work that GALZ carries out in defence of human rights, particularly LGBTI rights, in Zimbabwe.


H.E. Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Office of the President
Munhumutapa Building
Samora Machel Avenue
Causeway
Harare
Zimbabwe

Email: info@zim.gov.zw

Your Excellency,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.

On 6 June 2013, at approximately 11 a.m., five unknown assailants wielding hammers forced entry into the Harare offices of human rights organisation Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ). GALZ is an association founded in 1990 that advocates social tolerance for sexual minorities and the repeal of homophobic legislation in Zimbabwe.

On the morning of the raid, the assailants gained entry by disguising one of their group as a mentally challenged person and driving in whilst this member threatened the security personnel at the gate with a hammer. Upon entry, the assailants forced all staff present into the Guard Room and locked them there whilst they ransacked the offices, gathering laptops, mobile phones and bags which contain sensitive information about the work of the organisation and individual members. It is believed that the incident was not a normal robbery, but an attack carried out under orders, as the assailants frequently made contact over the phone with an unknown person called 'Machacha' from an unknown 'security wing'. In a statement, GALZ said “GALZ is not taking this incident as a random act of attempted robbery but that of deliberate attack by the youth militia, acting on the orders of someone superior.”

The police arrived swiftly and arrested the assailants, who have now been taken for further questioning at Harare Central Police Station. No members of staff were injured during the raid, and most of the equipment which the assailants had gathered has been returned to GALZ.

The latest incident comes in the context of a very difficult climate for LGBTI rights defenders in Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe has in the past made some extremely homophobic comments. Last year, attempts were made to enshrine LGBTI rights in the country's new constitution, but were unsuccessful.

I welcome the swift action of the Zimbabwean police, but I remain concerned about the motives behind the raid, which are possibly related to the peaceful and legitimate work that GALZ carries out in defence of human rights, particularly LGBTI rights, in Zimbabwe.

I urge the authorities in Zimbabwe to:

  1. Carry out a thorough, impartial and immediate investigation into the motives behind the raid on the offices of GALZ with a view to publishing the results and bringing the perpetrators and sponsors to justice in accordance with international standards;
  2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Zimbabwe are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.


Yours Sincerely,
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
www.williamnicholasgomes.com

http://williamnicholasgomes.com/

www.twitter.com/@Wnicholasgomes

Donate to: williamgomes.org@gmail.com

______________________________

Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.

He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.

_________________________________________




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pinkfloyd June 13, 2013 7:41 pm (Pacific time)

I personally have no opinion on what a persons sexuality/desires are. If anyone is being targeted with violence, the violence should be stopped. Simple. I do wish people, no matter race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, would at least learn more about the things that I post here tho. How the world is being manipulated by a very few, for their own agenda. If you were to read books by these "very few" they say outright that they will promote homosexuality to break up the family units. Here in the U.S., only 2-3 percent promote gay marriage, but its on mainstream news and promoted in every agenda of our lives..All planned. I am not down on gays, I am just saying, look further into the agenda. I know gays that know of this. They still want to be gay, but at least they know. It is important to look at the underlying agenda. The mass majority of gay people have caused me no problems. It is the few that are indoctrinated by the globalists agenda that cause the problems. I think I can say with full disclosure that bush and cheney are not gay. But they invaded Iraq on lies killing hundreds of thousands, complicit in 911 etc..the gays are not our enemy. As far as obama? who knows, 90% of what he says are lies, but I would not care if he was gay or not, but I wish he would at least be honest. WHile people were distracted with bill clinton and monica, I did not care what he did with his sexual desires. I cared about him stealing the social security money to balance the budget, repealing the glass-steagle act that let the bankers run wild and steal every dime etc. Another agenda is, example: while a neighbor is stealing everything you have on a daily basis, the neighbor will come by and make you focus on the gay neighbor down the street. A common tactic of thieves.


GI Joe June 13, 2013 2:50 pm (Pacific time)

You sound like one of those dirtbags from the westboro baptist church, I can't stand the way you guys disgrace this nation with your anti-American garbage, you need to crawl back into your garbage can.


Anonymous June 13, 2013 7:19 am (Pacific time)

See not every country kisses the fags ass. Maybe we should learn from them and Russia. They just banned talking about it and they are not allowed to adopt. Good job. Just look at us. Gays and lesbians running the show. Disgraceful. There is a rumor that even our so beloved president had homosexual relationships before he married. To bad the only witness accidentally died. Oh well just another unsolved murder by our government.

People fear most what they hate in themselves, I only approved this sickening comment to show the type of stuff people are willing to write.

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