Amnesty International is calling on Zambia to release two men who have been in jail since May on charges of engaging in homosexual acts “against the order of nature.”
James Mwansa and Philip Mubiana, both 22, will appear in court Monday for a judge to decide if they should be detained longer.
“It is high time that individuals stopped being persecuted because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Human rights are about the dignity and equality of all people,” said Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International’s Zambia researcher.
The pair was arrested after a neighbor reported them to the police, according to Amnesty International.
Authorities subjected them to anal examinations without their consent and forced them to confess, the human rights group said.
“Anal examinations conducted to ‘prove’ same-sex conduct are scientifically invalid, and if they were conducted without the men’s consent, contravene the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment under international law,” said Simeon Mawanza, an Amnesty researcher in Zambia.
It was the second detention for the two men in recent days, the group said. On April 25, authorities arrested them, and later released them on bail on May 2.
They were arrested again just four days later after a neighbor went to the police, according to Amnesty. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Read more: CNN