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Since March a combination of factors, including the fall in popularity of Zambia's ruling party PF, has led to a hate campaign against LGBT people in the country

Led by senior politicians, including the minister of Justice and Minister of Youth with support from leading religious figures, some of whom are allegedly supported by the christian right in the USA (not very unlike Uganda a while back....) this has led to gays and lesbians in the country going into hiding and reports of increased harassment.

On 24 April a young couple was arrested in Kapiri Mposhi, and were later denied bail on two occasions. Their only alleged "crime" is that they love each other and lived together as husband and "wife".

The local community in the compound they lived never had issues with them until the hate speech campaign from leading politicians started. A few weeks later the couple, both 21 years old, who according to the main local LGBTI organisation Friends of Rainka after they interviewed them have "low literacy and very little knowledge of the law or their rights", were arrested in their home after neighbours went to the police.

The case has drawn a lot of attention in Zambia where the laws are such that they risk 15 years to life imprisonment if convicted. This is the first such case to come to the publics attention, and thus important. Their trial opened on 5 June.

Most of the Zambian media has written about the arrest, as well as some international media following statements from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. For some of the articles you can go to the 76 Crimes website.