Posts Tagged ‘Television station’

Paul Kasonkomona, Zambian human rights defender and LGBTI activist, detained

April 12, 2013

On 10 April 2013 human rights defender and LGBTI activist, Mr Paul Kasonkomona was due to appear in court to challenge his arbitrary detention, three days after being arrested in connection with a live TV interview in which he called for the decriminalization of same-sex relations in Zambia. Despite legal arrangements prohibiting preventive detention without formal charges beyond 48 hours, and contrary to the promise given by Zambian authorities, the human rights defender is yet to appear in court. Paul Kasonkomona is a prominent human rights defender working for Engender Rights Centre for Justice, a local human rights group focusing on the rights of sexual minorities in Zambia, and running campaigns in support of the rights of gay people, sex workers, and people living with HIV/Aids. Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

The human rights defender was the evening guest for the program, “The Assignment” run by Muvi TV, an independent TV station operating from Lusaka. During the TV program, Paul Kasonkomona focused on the need for improved access to health care by sex workers, prisoners and sexual minorities. The allegations over which Kasonkomona is being held remain unclear as he has not been formally charged. However, a police official has been quoted as suggesting that the charges against the human rights defender are related to “inciting the public to take part in indecent activities.”

Front Line Defenders believes that Paul Kasonkomona has been detained as a result of his legitimate and non-violent activities in defence of human rights.