Malawi gay couple freed

2010-05-30 13:49

Blantyre - A prison spokesperson in Malawi says a gay couple pardoned by the president has been released.

Evance Phiri said on Sunday that Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza were released late on Saturday, hours after President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned them without condition. Mutharika stressed that homosexuality remains illegal in the conservative southern African country.

It was not clear where the men went after their release. They were not at their Blantyre home when an Associated Press reporter visited on Sunday.

Malawi had faced international condemnation for the conviction and 14-year sentence given to the two men, who were arrested in December, a day after celebrating their engagement.

Malawi is among 37 African countries with anti-gay laws.