Media Advisory: Botswana High Court to Hear Critical Case on Freedom of Association and Rights of Sexual Minorities

Salc : Staff Writer

Gaborone, 17 March – On Tuesday, the Gaborone High Court will hear arguments concerning the government’s refusal to register the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) organization – in a case that could set important precedents in terms of both freedom of association and the rights of sexual minorities.

The High Court will be considering an application for judicial review of the decision by the Department of Labour and Home Affairs not to process LEGABIBO’s registration. The twenty applicants are being represented by the respected human rights lawyer, Unity Dow.

“LEGABIBO’s objectives are to promote the universality of human rights in Botswana and to encourage the provision of quality health services to all without discrimination,” said Caine Youngman, one of the applicants and a coordinator of the LEGABIBO programme at the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA). “There is no law in Botswana that prohibits people from being lesbian, gay or bisexual or which denies them the right to collectively organise.”

What: High Court hearing the case of Rammoge and 19 others v Attorney General

Where: Botswana High Court, Gaborone

When: 09:00, Tuesday 18th March

“This case is about the ability of citizens to associate in a manner recognised by the state and to freely and collectively share their opinions,” said Youngman. “The refusal to register LEGABIBO violates our constitutional rights, including our rights to freedom of association and expression.”

Issued by:  The Southern Africa Litigation Centre

Further info:

Caine Youngman, LEGABIBO Coordinator at BONELA: Tel: +267 393 2516, +267 7134 0794; E-mail: caineyoungman@gmail.com;

Anneke Meerkotter, SALC: E-mail: annekem@salc.org.za

Ian Southey-Swartz, OSISA: E-mail: ians@osisa.org

For updates follow SALC on twitter: @follow_salc

For background on the casehttps://www.southernafricalitigationcentre.org/cases/ongoing-cases/botswana-high-court-challenge-to-refusal-to-register-lgbt-organisation/