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President of Malawi frees and pardons gay couple sentenced to 14 years hard labour

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Reader comments

  1. Wonderful news and congratulations to the President. Hopefully, we can offer them sanctuary here.

  2. Yeah! Wherever they reside I hope that they can now find the happiness they deserve…

  3. This is such amazing news.

  4. Great news.

    ‘Mr Ban hailed the decision as “courageous” adding:

    “this outdated penal code should be reformed wherever it may exist.”’

  5. Whilst this is undoubtedly wonderful news, to congratulate the president for not imposing a draconian and unwarranted jail term seems akin to thanking the school bully for allowing you to keep your dinner money.

  6. Ladyfriend 29 May 2010, 6:29pm

    I agree with Maria. This is a bully backing down to international pressure. keep up the pressure on all these sort of bullies.

  7. Mr. Ban is a diplomat; c’est la vie.

    But you’re both right, of course.

  8. Why exactly should we offer them sanctuary Jules?

  9. Wonderful news – I ask the same question as Karl why should we offer them sanctuary? What about other members of the LGBT in this country? Surely it would be more productive and beneficial to have our Government the UN and all put pressures on the the country to change their vile outdated laws.

  10. While this is very good result we must now be very concerned for their safety, do they have any network to find them a safe house? immediately they will be at great risk upon release.

  11. I also hope they can come to UK in due course. Madonna will pay their fares.

  12. Sister Mary clarence 29 May 2010, 9:39pm

    Gav, Karl due you really believe they will now live their lives in safety and free from persecution?

    Those that wronged them in the first place are still very much at work in the country. The UN has yet to address and solve the issue of meddling in state affairs by American Evangelicalists.

  13. Joe in California 29 May 2010, 11:35pm

    SANCTUARY – Asylum is more like it!
    Many countries have immigration laws that Steven and Tiwonge would qualify for asylum. All they have to do is apply for asylum. I’m fairly sure that Canada is one of them.

  14. This is great news for Steven and Tiwonge although echoing, they should never have gone through it. I congralute Ban Ki-Moon for proving this kind of direct action Does indeed work.

    I do notice that despite the Malawi President pardoning these two after being reminded of his responsiblities towards human rights that he still saw fit to remark how about crimes against blah, blah, blah. Way to not loose face but was it really necessary?

  15. I am happy to hear this. Wonderful news no matter how it came about. At least one person is showing sense no matter how he came to the decision and why. Now if some of these other clowns in Africa would listen to common sense! I wish these two gentlemen a long and happy life together!

  16. BrazilBoysBlog 30 May 2010, 12:53pm

    I agree that this is a great result for diplomacy and international pressure. However, that international pressure must be kept going until all these antiquated laws are repealed and are no longer crimes against their “culture, our religion and our laws.” as the President so pathetically put it.

  17. This has made my day. Incredible news.

  18. So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

  19. Well, they’re not a ‘gay couple’ (tiwonge is a trans woman), but great news!

  20. According to the latest news, both Steven and Tiwonge have been returned to their villages and warmly welcomed by their relatives.

    But they have been warned that the pardon was for this offense only, and they could be arrested again if they pursue this relationship.

    Also, the international news is still calling Steven and Tiwonge a “gay couple”.

  21. I agre that there does seem to be an element of face saving and the President acting magnaminous for not “jailing the perverts”, but I guess it’s a start.
    I hope pressure is kept up to get them to repeal these draconian laws, not just letting them say “hey, we, let you off this time… keep your noses clean in future”.

  22. Great news. And thanks a lot for all the pressure that has been applied internationally. That is what has made a difference. And, that is what is working in Uganda, and for most of the other African countries.


  23. According to Africa News Tiwonge Chimbalanga has gone missing, this is confirmed by his Uncle. Not sure if this is sinister or not, but worrying at least

  24. COURAGE NIGERIA 31 May 2010, 9:24pm

    Tiwonge gone missing?
    That is scary. He will surely be found again. But what is the future for these young men? As an African, I can be sure that harasement is not over. Their lives could be in a “free prison”. Can they leave their homeland for somewhere else? It is possible. Send them to south africa to pursue their education.

  25. Jean-Paul 1 Jun 2010, 1:36pm

    @24 Dave:

    This is worrisome.

    Could you give us a link, please.

  26. This will be a test of the new Con-Dem government. If they have offered asylum for Steven and Tiwonge then lets ensure they are both in agreement and can be on their way-unharmed by relatives nor anyone else- as soon as poss. If they wish to go elsewhere (The USA or South Africa perhaps?)then let’s see if that can be arranged.

    Meanwhile the pressure must be kept up on ALL African countries to decriminalise being lgbt and introduce the appropriate educational and protective measures required…

  27. Here is the link,

    Given what PT has to say, I am not sure what to think, maybe they have him in hiding.

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