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Zim gay rights activists released

Officers raided the Harare headquarters of the group GALZ this weekend, making 44 arrests.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe at a campaign Rally in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe police on Monday released 44 gay rights activists after detaining them for 24 hours.

Officers raided the Harare headquarters of the group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) this weekend.

The raid coincided with preparations for the launch of a report on abuses against gays and lesbians in the country.

Homosexuality is outlawed in Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe has referred to homosexuals as being "worse than dogs and pigs."

His party rejected calls for the new constitution, which is currently under debate, to guarantee gay rights.