Malawi president pardons gay couple

Malawi’s president today pardoned and ordered the release of a jailed gay couple sentenced to 14 years in prison.

President Bingu wa Mutharika made the announcement during a press conference with UN 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.

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