FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Health and Human Rights Officer,
IGLHRC Cape Town Office: (27) 21 469 3700;
Mobile: (27) 79 443 3938;
Dunker Kama, Administrator,
CEDEP Blantyre Mobile: (265) 8888 7 5050;
For further contact information see below. Read IGLHRC's letter on this case and the human rights situation in Malawi »
(Cape Town, May 18, 2010) – The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and the Malawian organization the Center for the Development of People (CEDEP) condemn today's conviction by a Magistrate Court in Blantyre, Malawi of Tiwonge ("Tionge") Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza for "unnatural offences" and "indecent practices between males" under Sections 153 and 156 of the Malawi Penal Code. The court is expected to sentence the two on May 20th and issue the full judgment within three weeks. Chimbalanga and Monjeza face up to fourteen years in prison with the possibility of hard labour.
"By ignoring basic standards of evidence, this ruling undermines Malawi’s commitment to the rule of law and jeopardizes the human rights of all Malawians,” said Chivuli Ukwimi, Health and Human Rights Officer of IGLHRC. “In a context of escalating persecution of LGBT Malawians, this decision damages life-saving efforts to address HIV and AIDS."
Monjeza and Chimbalanga have been held in Chichiri Prison in Blantyre since December 28, 2009, when they were arrested after a traditional engagement ceremony attended by family and friends. Following their arrest, Chimbalanga was forced to undergo an involuntary anal examination and both were forced to undergo an involuntary psychiatric evaluation. The two were repeatedly denied bail – a decision severely criticized as unjust by the Malawi Law Society. There have been reports of the court allowing the couple to be subjected to humiliating treatment during the trial, including being mocked for their relationship by trial attendees and being forced to clean up vomit after one of them became ill.
Today's ruling is part of a broader pattern of mounting pressure and persecution on LGBT people by authorities in Malawi. This persecution has come from the highest levels of government. On April 23rd, President Bingu wa Mutharika reportedly denounced homosexuality as "un-Malawian," "evil" and "disgusting" and linked it to corruption, violence, theft and prostitution. Days later, on April 26th and again on the 27th, police appeared at a conference on the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations in HIV/AIDS programming. Police demanded the names of conference organizers, seized copies of the conference program, and inquired about specific individuals believed to be in attendance. Police refused to present a warrant or justification for the intimidation.
Speaking after today's decision, Dunker Kamba, Adminstrator of CEDEP, said, "This judgment is going to drive the gay community further into hiding. It is not only a ruling against Steven and Tionge but the whole LGBT community in Malawi and Africa."
These incidents violate the Constitution of Malawi and the human rights treaties to which Malawi is a party. The continued discrimination and persecution of people on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity threatens to undermine the right to privacy, the right to non-discrimination and equality before the law, and freedoms of assembly, association, opinion, and expression that all Malawians are entitled to enjoy.
Additional Contact Information:
Gift Trapence, Director,
CEDEP Blantyre Mobile: (265) 888 509732;
Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director,
IGLHRC (currently in Berlin)
Mobile: (347) 515 0330;
Jessica Stern, Director of Programs,
IGLHRC New York 1- 212- 430-6014;
For general media inquiries, please contact:
Sam Cook, Director of Communications, IGLHRC 1-212-430-6023;
It is not about me. Like Galileo, all I have is a little piece of truth about the facts of growing up gay. Marriage Equality will not become a reality until people learn that its most vital purpose is that it restores the “hope of love” to children in early childhood – essential to their development and well-being for life. Without Marriage Equality we teach children how to hate love and how to be mean and indifferent to people as adults. With all due respect, without Marriage Equality we would teach them in much the same way as has been shown by Benedict XVI and the hierarchy, especially in their lack of care and protection of children for decades. MSK.
KIDS ARE BEING HURT!!!
Ignorance About Human Sexuality Is Harmful To Children
Galileo & Benedict XVI & Homosexuality & Natural Law – Read more
Sexual orientation is less about sex and more about love, being one with another human being. Attachment Theory - LOVE and RELIGION – Read more
Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion 2,239,472 power of love
Auschwitz - Christmas 2008 - Brokeback Mountain – Read more
Dr. Caitlin Ryan: Reducing Risk and Promoting Well-Being for LGBT Youth: The Critical Role of Family Support - Family Acceptance Project™ - podcast
Continuum of Human Sexuality - The Kinsey Scale – Read more
"(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?" Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz – Read more
Two moms are as good as a mom and a dad: study – Toronto Star - Read more
Marriage Equality - The Golden Girls -> restoring - hope of love
"Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well-considered, and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child's spirit." Erik Erikson
harmful to children
Protecting Children – Edith Bunker – “All in the Family” “When I was a young girl, I didn’t’ know what every young girl should know. Now, I‘m going to be an old lady, and I don’t know what every old lady should know.”
The Science Of Sexual Orientation - 60 Minutes – 2006 - CBS News - Read more – video clip
Sexual Attraction and Orientation – Kids Health – read more
Transgender Children – read more
SEX, LIES, & GENDER – The Story of the Intersex Soldier - Explorer / National Geographic Channel – read more
Know thyself – Plato
This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. - William Shakespeare
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. - Luke 6:40-42
POWER OF SOCIAL NORMS
Sexual orientation is not the only continuum that makes up the complexity of human sexuality, there are others. However, allowing the powerful effects of social norms that are ignorant about human sexuality to continue out of fear only perpetuates the harm to generation after generation. The powerful strength of social norms to influence a person or a whole group of people should not be underestimated, as demonstrated by this video clip from Allen Funt's "Candid Camera." Social norms can be so powerful that they can get entire groups of people to agree to go against truth and logic. This video clip is quite humorous. But it is not humorous the kind of serious harm caused to very young children and the life threatening situations even death to many others that is promulgated and perpetuated through the ignorance and fear of social norms not based on truth and facts regarding complexity of human sexuality. Read more
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil
By Philip Zimbardo - Stanford University
“Rather than providing a religious analysis, however, I offer a psychological account of how ordinary people sometimes turn evil and commit unspeakable acts.”
Important note: I mean no disrespect to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children. Kids are being hurt!!!
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest – Read more
Thalamus Center - Facts From Science & Religion About Human Sexuality – Read more
RC hierarchy child sexual abuse “cover-ups” ordered by Benedict XVI to avoid public outrage & criminal charges - falsely accused gay priests WATERGATE? Read more
Ratzinger, Hurley, Maida & Accomplices - Kids Are Being Hurt!!! (Sequential Order of Reactions) Read more
Protect children and the entire world will be safe
Galileo & Benedict XVI & Homosexuality & Natural Law – Read more
Impending rules on gay priests create Catholic divide – by Charles Honey – The Grand Rapids Press – October 8, 2005 * Benedict XVI -> SILENCING TRUTH – Read more
No - USA CIVIL LAWS - To Protect CHILDREN From Harmful Influence of - Vatican's UNSUBSTANTIATED Antigay Teachings - - Galileo - - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz – Read more
Ignorance about human sexuality is harmful to children.
“Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.” Erik Erikson
Kids Are Being Hurt!!!
…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6