A new report released by Zimbabwe’s LGBTI rights group, GALZ, has highlighted a disturbing level of violence towards the nation’s LGBTI community, with 50% of the population reporting acts of violence against them.
The Analysis of Human Rights Violations Against LGBTI Persons in Zimbabwe report utilized data from 2012 to 2017 and found a total of 170 violations of LGBTI people’s rights.
Aiming to further analyse the disturbing trend, the report also breaks down each violation into 12 categories: assault, threats, outing, discrimination, police harassment, unlawful detention, disownment, blackmail, displacement, unfair labour practice, hate speech, and invasion of privacy.
The report showed that of these recorded categories, the most common violations were assault (19%), threats (15%), blackmail (15%) and being outed (11%). The study also found that the country’s government was “a key actor in influencing change in terms of how issues of sexual orientation and gender identity are addressed both at a state level and among the ordinary Zimbabweans.”
By breaking down each violation, the researches were able to establish that gay men were predominantly the main targets in the recorded categories, with 61% of gay men being victims, compared to 1% percent of bisexual individuals.
The report has also included a number of recommendations for the nations government, police, Zimbabwe human rights bodies, the families of LGBTI people, and members of the community themselves.
The recommendations range for ensuring that the law is not used to target LGBTI people and for victims of such abuse to report incidents to the authorities as soon as possible.