Saturday, May 29, 2010

Britain hails Malawi pardon for jailed gay couple – May 29, 2010 – AFP

LONDON — Britain welcomed the pardon made Saturday by Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika for a gay couple who were jailed for 14 years after holding a same-sex wedding.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We welcome the announcement by President Mutharika to pardon Mr Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Mr Steven Monjeza. Read more – AFP

Gay couple in Malawi pardoned by president after outcry 
 May 29, 2010 - TIMES ONLINE

A gay couple in Malawi sentenced to 14 years hard labour for holding the country’s first same-sex engagement were pardoned today after a meeting between the president and the UN Secretary General.

Steven Monjeza, 26, and his partner Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were jailed last week, prompting an international outcry.

Malawi’s first openly gay couple, they had been behind bars since December, when they were arrested two days after holding a public engagement ceremony in front of 500 onlookers. They were charged with gross indecency and performing unnatural acts.

In the UK, which is Malawi’s largest donor, the sentence was condemned by Alan Duncan, the International Development Minister, as “both shocking and disturbing”. Read more – May 29, 2010 - TIMES ONLINE

Malawi pardons jailed gay couple
May 29, 2010 – BBC NEWS 

A gay couple jailed in Malawi after getting engaged have been pardoned by President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Mr Mutharika, speaking as UN chief Ban Ki-moon visited his country, said he had ordered their immediate release.

Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were given 14-year jail terms earlier this month after being convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts.

The case has sparked international condemnation and a debate about homosexuality in the country. Read moreBBC NEWS

White House Applauds Malawi Pardon For Gay Couple 
AP – CBS News

White House Hopes Malawi's Pardon For Gay Couple Marks New Day For Gay Rights Around The World
(AP)  CHICAGO (AP) - The White House hopes it's a new day for gay rights in the African nation of Malawi and around the world.

Presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs says the White House was pleased to learn that Malawi's president on Saturday pardoned a gay couple sentenced to 14 years in prison because of their sexual orientation.

Gibbs says in a statement that the men aren't criminals and that their struggle isn't unique. The statement urges an end to what it calls "the persecution and criminalization" of sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more - AP – CBS News

 White House applauds pardon of Malawi gay couple facing prison term
By Walter Alarkon - 05/29/10 – The Hill

The Obama administration applauded the Malawi government's pardon of a gay couple facing a 14-year prison term for marrying.

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned and released Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga on Saturday. The East African nation had received international pressure for holding homosexuality to be a crime. 

Mutharika announced the pardon after meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Malawi. Read more - By Walter Alarkon - 05/29/10 – The Hill

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