By Melanie Nathan, April 12, 2013.
Gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona pleaded not guilty in a Zambian court yesterday to charges of “idle and disorderly conduct by inciting the public to engage in idle and disorderly conduct by promoting illicit activities” and was released on Kr5,000 bail ($1,000USD)
Kasonkomona who was picked up and detained after appearing live on Muvi TV station where he appeared on a program talking about same-sex marriage. The Zambian media uses rhetoric such as “promoting gay rights”. he was held unlawfully for more than 48 hours in detention at Woodlands police station, without release, despite the fact that guarantees had been met. He appeared before Lameck Ngambi at Lusaka Magistrate court.
And Mr. Kasonkomona who is represented by prominent lawyer Sunday Nkonde of SNB legal practitioners has sued government for wrongful detention and mental torture he suffered since arrest. In his statement filed in the Lusaka high court, Kasonkomona alleges that police have delayed in giving him his tuberculosis and anti-retro viral drugs ARVs, placing him at grave risk of physical harm.
The trial is set to commence on May 15.
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