A gay male couple has been sentenced to 15 years in prison under Zambia’s colonial-era law that prohibits gay sex.
U.S. Ambassador Daniel Foote said in a statement that the was “horrified” by the sentence.
“I was personally horrified to read yesterday about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt absolutely no one, to 15 years imprisonment for ‘crimes against the order of nature,’” said Foote.
“Meanwhile, government officials can steal millions of public dollars without prosecution, political cadres can beat innocent citizens for expressing their opinions with no consequences, or poachers/traffickers can kill numerous elephants, barbarically chainsaw and sell their tusks and face a maximum of only five years imprisonment in Zambia.”
“Decisions like this oppressive sentencing do untold damage to Zambia’s international reputation by demonstrating that human rights in Zambia is not a universal guarantee,” Foote continued. “They perpetuate persecution against disenfranchised groups and minorities, such as people from other tribes or political affiliations, albinos, the disabled, our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) brothers and sisters, and everyone who is deemed ‘different.’”
According to local media reports, the couple was caught having sex in a lodge in the town of Kapiri Mposhi.
The Zambian government criticized Foote’s comments and accused him of meddling in the nation’s internal affairs, the AP reported.
Foote said that he had received threats.
Zambia is among the more than 70 nations where consensual gay sex is criminalized.
by Carlos Santoscoy
Source – On Top Magazine