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Malawi: Convicted gays released 0

May30

LILONGWE, MalawiThe convicted and jailed Malawian gay couple released following a presidential pardon. President Bingu wa Mutharika said the decision was based on humanitarian grounds and that homosexuality was still illegal in the country. He said worldwide criticisms are putting stress on the nation.

Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga had been given 14-year jail terms for “gross indecency and unnatural acts” after celebrating their engagement. They were pardoned during a visit by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

But a government minister told the BBC the men could be re-arrested if they continued their relationship.

Gift Trapence, director of the campaign group Centre for the Development of the People (Cedep) which had been supporting the couple, said they had been taken separately to their home villages.

“The prison authorities told them they had been given instruction from above that they should take them to their respective homes,” he told the AFP news agency.

Mr Trapence said they had been “warmly welcomed by their respective relatives” when they arrived home.

Continue reading on AfricaNews

By Chancy NamadzundaAfricaNews

Read more on Afronline.org about homosexuality in Africa:

“Malawi sentence will set back AIDS”

Malawi: gay couple found guilty

Malawi: Love that dares to speak its name

Senegal sees escalation in homophobic persecution

Museveni distances himself from “cruel” anti-gay bill

Africa: the threats of homophobia

Uganda: anti-homosexuality bill means ‘Targeted Killings’

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