Gay couple sentenced to 14 years in prison

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AFP) — A Malawi gay couple was sentenced yesterday to the maximum 14 years in prison with hard labour, after being convicted of sodomy for holding the country’s first same-sex wedding.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza were arrested on December 28 after their symbolic wedding and accused of violating “the order of nature”. They have been in jail ever since and the sentence was condemned as an “outrage” by rights group Amnesty International.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malawi and most other African countries.

“I sentence you to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour each,” magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa told the two men in a courtroom in the commercial capital Blantyre.

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