zambia: activist defends right to freedom of expression

Paul, 16 OctoberPaul Kasonkomona is a respected HIV activist and National Coordinator of Engender Rights-Zambia. On 7 April 2013, Kasonkomona was arrested outside MuviTV station after he appeared on a television programme. As a guest on the programme Kasonkomona argued that the rights of sexual minorities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBT) and sex workers, should be recognised in order to effectively address the HIV epidemic. Kasonkomona was eventually released on bail on 11 April 2013 after his lawyers filed a civil case for false imprisonment. Kasonkomona challenged the constitutionality of his arrest, but this application was unsuccessful in the High Court.

Kasonkomona’s criminal trial in the Lusaka Magistrates Court commenced on 16 October 2013. On 17 December 2013 the State closed its case. On 25 February 2014, Magistrate Lameck Ng’ambi held that the State has failed to present a sufficient case for the defence to answer resulting in the acquittal of Kasonkomona. The State appealed this ruling to the High Court. On 15 May 2015, Justice Mulongoti confirmed the acquittal of Kasonkomona and ruled that the State had not made out a case against Kasonkomona.

Kasonkomona is represented by Sunday Nkonde SC from SBN Legal Practitioners with assistance from SALC.

Constitutional Application

Kasonkomona’s Constitutional Application

Prosecution’s Submission in Response to Constitutional Application

Kasonkomona’s Reply to Prosecution

Magistrate’s Ruling on Constitutional Application

High Court Ruling Kasonkomona

Constitutional Petition Kasonkomona

Magistrates Court

Kasonkomona’s Argument that No Case to Answer

Kasonkomona, Final Ruling

High Court

Kasonkomona High Court judgment

Blog Posts

Significant progress as Botswana Court of Appeal recognises the rights of LGBT persons

On 16 March 2016, the Botswana Court of Appeal, unanimously, delivered a landmark judgment in » Read More

Reaching for Zero Discrimination in Healthcare

          1 March is Zero Discrimination Day, a day to celebrate » Read More

ZAMBIA’S PRISONER TRANSFER AGREEMENT

The Zambian Prison Service has recently concluded a multilateral agreement with a number of Southern » Read More

News Stories

News Release: MAJOR BOOST FOR FREE SPEECH IN ZAMBIA AS COURT ACQUITS HIV ACTIVIST

Lusaka, 25 February – After a lengthy legal process, the renowned Zambian human rights and » Read More

Media Advisory: TRIAL OF TWO ZAMBIAN MEN ACCUSED OF “CARNAL KNOWLEDGE AGAINST THE ORDER OF NATURE” SCHEDULED FOR 10 AND 11 JUNE 2013

Johannesburg, 10 June – On 8 May 2013 two young men were charged in terms » Read More

SALC IN THE NEWS: Homosexual case referred to High Court

The Lusaka Magistrate’s Court ruled today that the criminal case against HIV activist Paul Kasonkomona » Read More

Commentary

Anneke Meerkotter

Zambia: Two men accused of “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”

SALC supported the defence of two Zambian men who were charged under section 155 of the Zambian Penal Code. In terms of section 155 of the Penal Code, any person who (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or (c) permits a male person to have carnal …» Read More

Anneke Meerkotter

SALC IN THE NEWS: Zambian High Court to rule on gay case

Lusaka – The trial of prominent Zambian gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona was put on hold Wednesday in order for the High Court to rule on a challenge brought by his lawyers. Magistrate Lameck Ngambi granted the defence’s application for a hearing in the upper court, where a ruling in the …» Read More