Media Advisory: Trial of Zambian HIV Activist to Start in Lusaka

Salc : Staff Writer

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: annekem@salc.org.za

Priti Patel: Tel: +27 11 587 5065; Cell: +27 76 808 0505; Email: pritip@salc.org.za

For live updates from the courtroom: @Follow_SALC

For background on the case, click here.