Johannesburg – The trial of Paul Kasonkomona – well-known human rights and HIV/AIDS activist – is set to commence in the Lusaka Magistrates Court on Thursday, 12 September.
Kasonkomona was arrested on 7 April immediately after appearing on a Muvi TV debate during which he argued that the rights of sexual minorities – including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, and sex workers – should be recognised in order to effectively address the HIV epidemic. He was subsequently charged with the offence of soliciting in a public place for an immoral purpose.
“Paul Kasonkomona’s trial is clearly a politically-motivated attempt to silence civil society activists and stifle debate on any topic deemed unacceptable to the State,” said Anneke Meerkotter, a lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which has been supporting the case. “His unjustified arrest and prosecution are all part of a concerted campaign by the authorities to curtail freedom of expression in Zambia.”
What: Trial of Paul Kasonkomona
Where: Lusaka Magistrates Court, Zambia
When: Thursday, September 12, 09:00am
For more information:
Anneke Meerkotter: Cell:+265 888 244 216; Cell:+27 72 234 4763; Email: email@example.com
Priti Patel: Tel: +27 11 587 5065; Cell: +27 76 808 0505; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For live updates from the courtroom: @Follow_SALC
For background on the case, click here.