POLICE RAID GALZ OFFICES
Mon, 20 August 2012International condemnation has not deterred police in their continued harassment of Zimbabwe LGBT rights group GALZ, including raiding the organisation's Harare offices again on Monday.
GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) reported that the Zimbabwe Republic Police arrived at their offices around lunchtime yesterday and demanded entry. No members of staff were present at the time. The police remained at the premises all afternoon without a search warrant, only producing one at 6.30 p.m.
Human rights lawyers arrived at the offices at 3.30 p.m. and engaged with the police officers who searched the premises into the night in the presence of the lawyers. GALZ was informed that the police intended to confiscate booklets, pamphlets and computers from its offices.
On 11 August, 44 members of GALZ were arrested at the launch of a report at the group's offices and later released. A number of the activists were again harassed and interrogated a week later. At no point were any charges laid.
The latest incidents of intimidation of the group by the authorities has been slammed by the European Union, the United States and Amnesty International.
In 2010, two employees were arrested and charged with the possession of pornographic material during a raid on the GALZ offices. They were both ultimately acquitted by the courts.
Police have also raided the home of Chesterfield Samba, director of GALZ, in the past.