A court in Malawi found a gay couple guilty of "unnatural acts" and "gross indecency" yesterday and will sentence the couple tomorrow. Steven Mojenza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, could face up to 14 years of hard labor. The couple were arrested at their home in December 2009 the day after celebrating their engagement with a party at a hotel, according to the Associated Press.
The couple has received international support from gay rights activists though many in Malawi are reportedly in support of the verdict. British activist Peter Tatchell told CNN, "While Steven and Tiwonge freely confirmed their love for each other, there was no credible evidence that they had committed any illegal homosexual acts...With so much hatred and violence in the world, it is bizarre that any court would criminalise two people for loving each other." Tatchell also reportedly has received messages from both imprisoned men. Chimbalanga reportedly wrote, "I love Steven so much. If people or the world cannot give me the chance and freedom to continue living with him as my lover, then I am better off to die here in prison. Freedom without him is useless and meaningless." Monjeza said, We have come a long way and even if our family relatives are not happy, I will never stop loving Tiwonge," reported the Guardian UK.
Homosexuality is currently illegal in 37 African countries and legal only in South Africa. Currently in Uganda, the Parliament is still considering legislation that, in its original form, would have imposed life imprisonment as the minimum sentence for being gay and would have allowed for the death penalty.
Media Resources: Associated Press 5/18/10; Guardian UK 5/14/10; CNN 5/18/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/9/09
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .