US envoy urges Malawi to drop charges for gay couple

The United States of America government through its embassy in Lilongwe has urged the Malawi authorities to immediately and unconditionally release two Malawian men, Cuthbert Kulemela, 19, and Kelvin Gonani, 39, who were arrested Lilongwe.

US Ambassador Virginia Palmer: Free the gay couple

US Ambassador Virginia Palmer: Free the gay couple

The two men were arrested on suspicion that they were having “gay sex” act in their bedroom and charged with homosexual related offence that carries a maximum of 14 years in prison with hard labour.

The arrest comes amid a growing local and international campaign for Malawi to “go easy” on gays and lesbians.

US ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, has said she is “deeply concerned” with the arrest of teenager and his partner.

In a statement posted on her Facebook page, the US ambassador described the arrest as unlawful.

The couple was arrested in Lilongwe on December 7 and charged with sodomy which is in violation of section 153 of the Penal Code.

The two were also subjected to a medical examination without their consent.

However, the American Embassy has strongly reminded the Malawi Government of its policy to not arrest people who are engaged in consensual same-sex activity.

“I urge the Malawi government to make good on its international human rights obligations, drop the charges, and resolve this unfortunate incident as quickly as possible,” reads part of the statement.

Legal experts argue that the laws under which gays are charged were archaic and unconstitutional.

The Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) which fight for the rights of homosexuals and other minorities calling for decriminalising homosexuals.

Cedep director Gift Trapence said the arrest of the two men solely for their real or perceived sexual orientation “amounts to discrimination” and it is in violation of their rights to freedom of conscience, expression, and privacy. “

He said laws criminalizing homosexuality and gender identity criminalize the legitimate exercise of these human rights, which are protected in treaties ratified by Malawi, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

He called for their immediate and unconditional release of the gay couple.

The two men have since be freed on bail.

Cedep also criticized the Malawian authorities for subjecting the two men to forcible anal medical examinations to establish if they had had sex so that they could be charged with sodomy.

The group said such forcible anal examinations, without the men’s consent, contravene the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

The group says studies show that because of homophobic legislation, gays and lesbians are driven underground making them hard to reach with information that could protect them from HIV/Aids.

Nyasa Times understands there is a network of high-profile people who are involved homosexual acts but afraid to come out in the open due to homophobic legislation.

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Keen Observer

Why? That’s why people see that it’s better to turn the East now cos these Americans aaaa

You are an ambassador of demons not America. America was created by God do not use it to intimidate people in Africa. Woman you are so demonic in your ideas. Go to hell with your aid if you do not recognise that we are the children of God. The blood of Jesus should be on you day and night to torment all those demons till you repent … you will realise that Jesus reigns in your life more than Obama who sent you… Hellish ideas made the land of Sodom and Gomorrah not to be sown for any business it… Read more »

All organizations supporting gayism, hambly stop existing in Malawi, go to America, otherwise mob justice wil take its course. We will burn your offices guys. America with immediate effect, stop mingling in our affairs as we have never mingled in yours. We run our nation respecting the laws we have, not Your laws as Malawi is not America. I salute my president for upholding our good laws.

Proud Malawian

When will the West stop bullying Malawians? Malawians we need to wake up and recognise that not everything that comes from the West is gospel. We say that we are independent but are we? The West should meddling in our affairs all in the name of goodwill and human rights. Wake up from your slumber, Malawi. We may be independent by name but not in the mindset.

john banda

arrest them in Malawi for its unlawful and release them in USA where its lawful

Malawian Patriot
If this issue is about morality then we as a Nation of Malawi were hypocrites. How many people are doing immoral things in Malawi on a daily basis and are not reprimanded? Jesus said let who has no sin cast the first stone. It applies here. How any people are sleeping around with other peoples’ spouses and are free as of now? I believe that it is wrong in a civilised society for the Police to arrest people in the privacy of their homes unless public safety was at risk. The moral issues are neither here or there. It does… Read more »
Happy Eduardo
On this issue I can tell you Westerners that Malawi will unite and fight you to the end and till the last man drops. Some of us may not like our president but on this issue we shall back him to the end. We can all accept to die with our poverty rather than accepting Ungodly acts in our land. I hope this is clear. You can read for yourself how angry Malawians are with the remarks by the US Ambassador. And to you APM, don’t ever, ever try to release the two male dogs that were having sex in… Read more »
chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa
chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa

Mind you we have our on cultural practices. so don’t force us to do things we don’t want.

obama, m
Virgin Palmer if your mother decided not to allow your father’s shaft to penetrate her, would you have seen this world.What it means here is that you would have not born since your mother’s eggs would not have met your father’s sperms? Then what are you talking about? If you have become weak minded homo with your life to the extent that you do allow same sex mariage and even dog-human bestality then just make yourself disappear.Our elders of africa like Comrade Mugabe do tell us that gay people are worse than dogs. Then you Vagina, what are you talking… Read more »

How can it be unlawful ? In Malawi its lawful but in USA that is unlawful. Mind u the us ambassador, this is Malawi and not USA. We have our own laws! How can u tell Malawi as a country to release offenders unconditionaly and immediately ? Is that wat u were told not to respect other country’s laws in undertaking ur duties? Go naked in our streets and see if our police want arrest you then u will know we have our own laws

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