GALZ Statement On The Court Judgement Of Ricky Nathanson

We welcome the acquittal of Ricky Nathanson on a charge of “Criminal

Nuisance” on Tuesday 4 February by a Bulawayo Magistrate. The unfortunatearrest of Ricky and the subsequent judgement by Magistrate AbednicoNdebele proves that the Police continue to use knee-jerk reactions to casesinvolving the LGBTI community. It would seem that the officer investigatingRicky Nathanson’s case acted unilaterally and without proper thought to theconsequences of their actions. Such ignorance of the law flies in the face ofthe recently promulgated Zimbabwe Constitution that guarantees the inherentdignity of people in their private and public life and to have that dignityrespected and protected.

Recent court developments have helped to highlight that the plight of theLGBTI community in Zimbabwe continues to be at the mercy of dedicatedZimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and the courts, a situation that can beameliorated if the State through the Zimbabwe Republic Police could upholdand respect the fundamental human rights of all citizens including the lesbian,gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

This and other court outcomes relating to LGBTI issues, buttresses our call forthe Zimbabwe Republic Police to realign its training curriculum with provisionsof the new Constitution if it seeks to promote effective and efficient service tothe people of Zimbabwe. We impress upon the Police Officers andZimbabweans as whole to reflect upon their attitudes towards humansexuality and gender. This is particularly important in the promotion of ahuman-rights culture in Zimbabwe at a time when attitudes to gender andsexuality are a significant contributing factor in addressing challenges aroundHIV.

GALZ also encourages the Zimbabwe Republic Police to supportorganisations in the fields of sexual rights and HIV/AIDS to develop sensibleand sensitive strategies for interventions amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender and intersex people as well as other marginalized groups//ENDS

Source – MSM Global Forum