Zimbabwe High Court awards damages in ground-breaking judgment in favour of Ricky Nathanson, a transgender women and activist

The Bulawayo High Court in Zimbabwe delivered a significant judgment against Zimbabwean police, awarding Ricky Nathanson, a transgender woman and activist originally from Bulawayo, $400,000 in damages. Nathanson had sued the police for unlawful arrest, detention, malicious prosecution and emotional distress pursuant to her arrest in January 2014 by six riot police officers on charges of “criminal nuisance” for wearing female clothes and using a female toilet.

Tashwill Esterhuizen, LGBT and Sex Workers Rights Programme Lawyer at Trust grantee, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), noted that: “Throughout Southern Africa, transgender persons are often targeted by law enforcement officers via the arbitrary and subjective application of outdated laws. (…) We hope that this case sets an important precedent and sends a strong message to all persons, including law enforcement officers and other state and non-state actors, that impunity will not be tolerated in constitutional democracies.”

The Southern African Litigation Centre’s press release can be found here: https://www.southernafricalitigationcentre.org/2019/11/18/breaking-news-zimbabwe-high-court-awards-damages-in-ground-breaking-judgment-in-favour-of-ricky-nathanson-a-transgender-woman-and-activist/

Kindly see an opinion article by SALC Programme Lawyer, Tashwill Esterhuizen, and Ricky Nathanson in The Mail and Guardian here: https://mg.co.za/article/2019-11-26-high-court-decision-affirms-human-rights-of-transgender-people-in-zimbabwe

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