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US Condemns Arrests, Harassment Of LGBT Activists In Zimbabwe

The United States on Thursday strongly condemned the arrests and continued harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists in Zimbabwe and urged the African nation's government to take immediate steps to end the "pattern of abuse" against civil society.

"The United States condemns the Government of Zimbabwe's violent arrest and detention of 44 members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe on August 11 and a second raid by police on August 20," read a statement issued by US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Thursday.

According to the statement, several members of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) "sustained serious medical injuries from the attacks and were detained without charges." The Government of Zimbabwe also "targeted these same members' homes and singled out their families for interrogation and harassment," the statement added.

"The United States stands in solidarity with Zimbabwe's civil society, including LGBT activists. We are deeply concerned when security forces become an instrument of political violence used against citizens exercising their democratic rights," the statement said.

The United States also called upon the Government of Zimbabwe "to end this pattern of abuse and to eradicate the culture of impunity that allows members of the security sector to continue to violate the rights of the Zimbabwean people."

Incidentally, Zimbabwe is among among 38 of the 54 African countries that considers homosexuality illegal.

by RTT Staff Writer

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