Zambian anti-gay law hounds two women

Zambian police are searching for two young women suspected of breaking the conservative country’s tough anti-homosexuality laws after images of them in intimate poses surfaced on social media, officers said on Wednesday.

The photographs, published by local media, show two young women relaxing together apparently in a bar or club and include a shot of one of the pair resting her head on her companion’s chest.

President Edgar Lungu, who was re-elected in 2016, has spoken out strongly against gay rights, despite pressure from donor countries that provide essential aid to the country.

“We are investigating the issue of those pictures of the two girls which have been circulating on social media,” police spokesperson Esther Katongo said.

The police’s cybercrime unit has been drafted in to help identify, locate and arrest the two suspects, she added.

People of the same sex convicted of engaging in an intimate relationship face jail sentences of up to 14 years.

Lungu revealed a conservative stance on social issues after the arrest of two Zambian gay men in 2013.

“Those advocating gay rights should go to hell,” he said at the time. “That issue is foreign to this country.”