Britain hails Malawi pardon for jailed gay couple

29th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain welcomed the pardon made Saturday by Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika for a gay couple who were jailed for 14 years after holding a same-sex wedding.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We welcome the announcement by President Mutharika to pardon Mr Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Mr Steven Monjeza.

"Britain has a close and strong partnership with Malawi and it is in this spirit that we raised our concerns about these convictions with the government of Malawi.

"The UK believes that human rights apply to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

The president ordered the men to be released immediately after he held talks with UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

The case has sparked international condemnation of the southern African country.

© 2010 AFP

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