Thursday, 20 May 2010
PRESS RELEASE: Pan Africa ILGA Condemn Sentencing of Gay Couple in Malawi
20th May 2010.
Immediate Press Release
The Executive Board members of the Pan Africa International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, condemns the conviction and sentencing of Tiwonge and Steven in Malawi.
Pan Africa ILGA join all our global human rights organizations and especially the Malawian organization the Center for the Development of People (CEDEP) in condemning the conviction and harsh sentencing of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour 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.
"This is an appalling, vindictive and brutal sentence, which tramples on Malawi's constitution, violates personal privacy and reverses the country's commitment to human rights.
"Steven and Tiwonge love each other and have harmed no one. Yet they get a sentence more severe than some rapists, armed robbers and killers.
"With so much hatred and violence in Malawi, it is sick that the court has jailed this couple for loving and caring for each other.
"The sentence echoes the era of dictatorship under President Hastings Banda, when personal prejudices determined law enforcement, and when individual rights were crushed and dissenters persecuted,"
We are calling for an immediate response from all parts of the world as we are not going to stand for these injustices, not in Africa and not anywhere else.
We call on government authorities and leaders at the commonwealth and United Nation for their response. We call on African states to condemn these violent breaches of gay people’s right.
This precedence will endanger the very fabric of society that we seek to protect, to live peaceful side by side and will jeopardize the process of saving lives.