May 29th, 2010
11:49 AM ET

Malawi president pardons 2 gay men

The president of Malawi has pardoned two gay men who were sentenced to 14 years in prison this month for gross indecency and unnatural acts, the country's solicitor general, Anthony Kamanga, said Saturday.

Steven Mojenza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, both in their 20s, were arrested in December at their home in Blantyre, Malawi, for professing their love in a traditional engagement ceremony.

They were rounded up after news reports surfaced, charged under colonial-era sodomy laws and detained at Chichiri prison without bail.

The arrests received some popular support in the conservative southern African nation, but sparked condemnation by gay-rights activists. Human-rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for the couple's release.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malawi, as it is in most African nations, and government officials have said they are simply upholding the law. Activists in Malawi, however, say they are violating the country's constitution, which outlaws discrimination.

The Malawi Law Society said the prosecution of the two men was driven by prejudice, not jurisprudence.


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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. mms55

    thank god ! i was so upset when i read this story, i'm so glad they came to their senses. i wish them both good luck and hope they can live their lives the way they want to.

    May 29, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Damiao

    I agree with you, everybody is free to decide what he or she want to be. http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com

    May 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mdjonas

    I'm sure that those right wing TEABAGGIN' REPUBLICANS aren't too thrilled about this one.

    May 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tina Sue Martin

    Thank our Creator! I have been Praying for their release. Will they have to immigrate?

    May 29, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ruffnutt

    i wonder if them going to prison was really a punishment for them?

    May 29, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • muhrvis

      Really funny. Not.

      May 30, 2010 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    I can't believe that some people / countries still believe it's a criminal offense to be gay. Even though I'm not gay it really p-sses me off to think that people are still discriminated against.. especially considering how nice the average gay person is.

    May 30, 2010 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. ruffnutt

    now that there free they can use their spears on each other.

    May 30, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lucky to be Free in the USA

    As a TEABAGGER and Gay, I love the support that the people on here are getting. Thanks...

    May 31, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |