A gay couple in Malawi who held a public wedding ceremony have been arrested and charged with public indecency.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza had a tradiitonal ceremony in the south African country on Saturday.

Malawi has severe penalties against homosexual acts, commonly punishing gay sex with up to 14 years in prison.

Attempts lin 2007 by human rights lawyers to repeal the code were flatly rejected by the government’s legal affairs committee.

Police spokesman Dave Chingwalu told Reuters: “We arrested them last night at their home and charged them with gross public indecency because the practice is against the law.”

He added that the couple would be held pending further investigations and may face other charges.