Malawi Couple Pardoned by President

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza departing court May 20, 2010.

It was a lovely and welcome surprise this morning to learn that President Mutharika pardoned Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga. This pardon came only because you as activists stood in solidarity with Steven and Tiwonge and demanded their rights to equality under the law. We joined the voice of the international community demanding these individuals not be persecuted because of their love.

But we are asking you not to rest on your laurels. There is still much work to be done. Acts of homophobia occur globally. Amnesty USA is taking action this June during Pride month to call attention to acts of discrimination, hindering progress towards equal rights for all.

Malawi will remain a featured case for this campaign. President Mutharika bowed to international pressure. Many governments condemned the arrest, prosecution and harsh sentencing of this couple. The United States government issued a strong statement, South African President Zuma roundly denounced their treatment, governments threatened to withdraw aid, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon met with President Mutharika right before the announcement of the pardon.

In his pardoning statement, President Mutharika clearly showed no acceptance, understanding or appreciation of gay rights.

“These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws … I have done this on humanitarian grounds but this does not mean that I support this.”

It is clear that discrimination and persecution will continue in Malawi and so we call for the repeal of the law allowing the arrest and imprisonment of gay people, a law that contravenes Malawi’s constitution and international treaties. Look for this action to be live when we launch our Pride campaign June 4th.

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10 thoughts on “Malawi Couple Pardoned by President

  1. I would love to help. I think they need a safe place to land. I would like to lobby my government here in Canada to give them sanctuary. I would love any advice or help anyone has to offer. The Malawian President is going to be here in Toronto for the G20 and is going to be lauded for being one of the countries in Africa where things are progressing. This could be a huge story and these gentlemen deserve all the love that we can give them. SANCTUARY NOW!

  2. It is fantastic news that this couple have been released and the pressure must remain on governments that punish their citizens for their identity.

    I must point out however, that Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga are not a gay couple or two men. Tiwonge is a woman as evidenced by her own words: http://birdofparadox.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/mal

    You will notice that the statement from the US government states 'sexual orientation and gender identity' and we should all be careful NOT to misgender Tiwonge's gender identity which is female.

  3. It is fantastic news that this couple have been released and the pressure must remain on governments that punish their citizens for their identity.

    I must point out however, that Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga are not a gay couple or two men. Tiwonge is a woman as evidenced by her own words: http://birdofparadox.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/mal

    You will notice that the statement from the US government states 'sexual orientation and gender identity' and we should all be careful NOT to misgender Tiwonge's gender identity which is female.

  4. It is fantastic news that this couple have been released and the pressure must remain on governments that punish their citizens for their identity.

    I must point out however, that Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga are not a gay couple or two men. Tiwonge is a woman as evidenced by her own words: http://birdofparadox.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/mal

    You will notice that the statement from the US government states 'sexual orientation and gender identity' and we should all be careful NOT to misgender Tiwonge's gender identity which is female.

  5. I would love to help. I think they need a safe place to land. I would like to lobby my government here in Canada to give them sanctuary. I would love any advice or help anyone has to offer. The Malawian President is going to be here in Toronto for the G20 and is going to be lauded for being one of the countries in Africa where things are progressing. This could be a huge story and these gentlemen deserve all the love that we can give them. SANCTUARY NOW!

  6. It is fantastic news that this couple have been released and the pressure must remain on governments that punish their citizens for their identity.

    I must point out however, that Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga are not a gay couple or two men. Tiwonge is a woman as evidenced by her own words: http://birdofparadox.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/malawi-live-at-the-witch-trials/

    You will notice that the statement from the US government states ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’ and we should all be careful NOT to misgender Tiwonge’s gender identity which is female.

  7. It so sickening that two males who have willfully decided to VIOLATE NATURE should be pardoned. They can receive pardon now but they will definitely not be pardoned in the life hereafter should they refused to change their their ILLEGAL behavior. These two gentlemen and all their accomplices will suffer eternal damnation.

    MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN A WOMAN!!!!!

  8. It so sickening that two males who have willfully decided to VIOLATE NATURE should be pardoned. They can receive pardon now but they will definitely not be pardoned in the life hereafter should they refused to change their their ILLEGAL behavior. These two gentlemen and all their accomplices will suffer eternal damnation.

    MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN A WOMAN!!!!!

  9. Akwasy, please stop interferring in other people's life, and live your one in the way you consider right.
    Who are you to know that they will have damnation?
    Why can't you just think in YOUR way of living?

  10. Akwasy, please stop interferring in other people’s life, and live your one in the way you consider right.
    Who are you to know that they will have damnation?
    Why can’t you just think in YOUR way of living?