Amnesty: Release Zambian men arrested over alleged homosexual acts
September 12, 2013 -- Updated 0952 GMT (1752 HKT)
Philip Mubiana (covering his face) and James Mwape (left) arrive at the Kapiri magistrate court on May 8, 2013 in Lusaka.
- Authorities subject them to anal examinations without their consent, a rights group says
- Amnesty International: It was the second detention for the two men
- Homosexuality is illegal in most African countries
(CNN) -- 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.
Zambian officials were not immediately available for comment.
Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia and most African countries based on remnants of sodomy laws introduced during the British colonial era and perpetuated by cultural beliefs.
Punishments across the continent range from fines to years in prison.
Last year, a Cameroon appeals court upheld a three-year sentence against a man convicted of homosexuality for texting his male friend to say, "I'm very much in love with you."
South Africa -- one of the more progressive nations in the continent on the issue -- was the first African country to impose a constitutional ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation.
But sexual violence against lesbians has become so common in South Africa, the nation has coined the term "corrective rape" to describe it.
A handful of other nations issue a death penalty for consensual same-sex relations, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.