Malawi’s president orders pardon and immediate release of gay couple sentenced to 14 yearsBy AP
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Malawi’s president pardons, releases gay couple
BLANTYRE, Malawi — Malawi’s president says he has pardoned and ordered the release of a jailed gay couple sentenced to 14 years in prison.
President Bingu wa Mutharika made the announcement Saturday during a press conference with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Lilongwe, the capital.
A judge earlier this month convicted and sentenced Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza on charges of unnatural acts and gross indecency, both colonial-era laws.
The two were arrested in December, a day after they celebrated their engagement.
The case has drawn international condemnation and sparked a debate on human rights in this conservative southern African country.
Homosexuality is illegal in at least 37 countries in Africa, including Malawi.
Tags: Africa, Blantyre, Couples, Malawi, Pardons And Commutations, Relationships, Southern Africa