by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
Employees Ellen Chadehama and Ignatius Mhambi were arrested May 21 during a police raid of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe office in Harare.
Officers took away computers and allegedly indecent documents, and charged the two with possession of pornography and with insulting President Robert Mugabe.
The latter charge stemmed from a letter found in the office, written by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, that reportedly criticizes Mugabe for his anti-gay tirades.
Mugabe has publicly denigrated gays and lesbians for years. Most recently, in March, he said: “Those who engage in homosexual behavior are just crazy. It’s just madness. Insanity. We can’t do it or the dead will turn in their graves. … If you are doing that (gay sex), you are destroying nationhood. (It’s) an alien practice that is being exported into our country.”
Chadehama and Mhambi were jailed for six days, forced to remain in squatting positions for long periods, and beaten on the knees when they fell, their lawyer said.
A court released them on $200 bail each. Trial is June 10.