ZAMBIAN GAY COUPLE BACK IN JAIL

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A gay couple arrested on charges of homosexuality in Zambia have had their bail revoked after they were apparently caught having sex again.

James Mwape and Philp Mubiana, both in their early twenties, were arrested on the weekend after one of the men’s relatives contacted the police.

The authorities claim that the men, from the town of Kapiri Mposhi, had been living as ‘husband and wife’ for some time.

After being charged with having sex “against the order of nature” they were released on bail and ordered to stay away from each other.

Just a day later, however, a relative reportedly caught them getting intimate and called the police.

“We have revoked police bond and re-arrested the two men for again engaging in the act which they were arrested on in the first place they will remain in custody until they appear in court. We have given them more counts,” Central Province Commissioner of Police Standwell Lungu told ZANIS. 

It’s unclear what additional charges have been laid against the couple, who appeared in court and pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

“I understand the charge and I plead not guilty,” Mwape was quoted saying.

Commissioner Lungu has confirmed that the men underwent humiliating medical tests after their first arrest which, he says, proved that they had engaged in anal sex.

The practice of forced anal examinations has been rejected by human rights groups under international law as a violation of medical ethics, human dignity and privacy and has been equated to torture.

Medical experts have also stated that these tests are not reliable and have no value in assessing if consensual anal sex took place.

The men’s trial is set to begin on 22 May. Human rights activists fear that the Zambian government aims to use the case to set an example in its recent crackdown against homosexuality.

Last month, human rights campaigner Paul Kasonkomona was arrested by police as he left a Lusaka television station for speaking out in favour of LGBT rights on television.

Kasonkomona was charged with “inciting the public to take part in indecent activities” and was only released on bail four days later.

Under Zambian law, the men face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

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