Gays Flee Zimbabwe Mob
August 4, 2004
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Harare—A group of gay Zimbabweans was forced to flee
for their lives when an angry mob chased them from an international book fair
in the capital, Harare. Several of the group were physically attacked.
Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe but the government
sponsored Zimbabwe International Book Fair allowed the Gay and Lesbian
Association to participate at this year’s event after the High Court ruled
that the association had the right to exhibit.
The court ruling infuriated Zimbabwe strongman Robert
Mugabe who peppers most speeches with anti-gay insults. It is believed the
mob, armed with sticks, was made up of Mugabe supporters on the government’s
Mugabe frequently describes gays as “as worse than dogs
“I’m morally repulsed by homosexuality,” Mugabe
told a dinner in March celebrating his 80th birthday.
“It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Adam, Eve and
Eve,” he said. “Let us never entertain the theory that man and man can
form a family.”
British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has for
several years attempted to have Mugabe arrested for crimes against humanity.
The Zimbabwe president is accused of inciting “anti-gay hatred”.
In 2001 when he tried to have Mugabe arrested in
Brussels, Belgium where the Zimbabwe leader was meeting with European Union
officials, Tatchell was beaten by the Mugabe’s bodyguards.
In January a British court turned down a bid by Tatchell
to have an arrest warrant issued for Mugabe accusing him of crimes against
humanity. In a 52 page brief Tatchell outlined a regime of brutality,
homophobia, and repression of civil rights. The court refused saying under
international law a sitting head of government cannot be arrested.
The Zimbabwe International Book Fair Wednesday said that
it “regretted” the attack on the gay participants at the fair.
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