Members of a Zimbabwean gay advocacy organisation have been detained and released without charge, after their headquarters in Harare was raided at the weekend, The Zimbabwean reports.

The Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) association said four policemen tried to gain entry to the premises, called for backup and were later joined by 15 riot squad officers.

“Police, some of them visibly drunk, assaulted most of the members using baton sticks, open hands, and clenched fists before detaining them without charge,” a statement from GALZ said.

The organisation said the raid came as its members were preparing for the release of a report on abuses against gays and a briefing on the second draft of the Zimbabwean constitution.

Zimbabwean police claimed no arrests took place and that those taken were only done so for “screening”.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has previously referred to gays as “worse than dogs and pigs” and criticised British Prime Minister David Cameron’s threat to redirect aid from central governments that did not respect LGBT rights.

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