Monday, 05 November 2012 23:47

Malawi Suspended Anti-Gay Laws

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Malawi

Big surprise in Malawi! The law criminalizing same-sex relationships has just been suspended.

Whereas still a few months ago, the president Joyce Banda said that Malawi was not ready "to deal with that right now". According to Amnesty International, the Minister for justice Ralph Kasambara has just announced that these laws criminalising same-sex sexual conduct would not be applied anymore pending a decision on whether or not to repeal them.

"If we continue arresting and prosecuting people based on the said laws and later such laws are found to be unconstitutional it would be an embarrassment to government," Kasambara told ReutersReuters , "It is better to let one criminal get away with it rather than throw a lot of innocent people in jail."

The organization Amnesty International immediately welcomes this decision:

"Amnesty International welcomes Minister Kasambara’s statement and hopes it serves as the first step towards ending discrimination and persecution based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity in Malawi," said Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International’s southern Africa director.

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