Saturday, May 29, 2010

Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga pardoned!

Malawi: Breaking news – Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga pardoned � bird of paradox: "According to BBC News (and others), Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga have been pardoned and granted immediate release:

A [...] couple who were jailed in Malawi have been pardoned by President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Mr Mutharika, speaking as UN chief Ban Ki-moon visited Lilongwe, said he had ordered their immediate release.

Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were given 14-year jail terms after being convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts."

And let's just make sure that this is straight for all my readers... Steven and Tiwonge were convicted of "unnatural acts" based on the fact that Malawi officials refused to acknowledge Tiwonge's womanhood and so viewed the two as a "gay couple."

Unfortunately, most of the coverage I've seen takes the Malawi government's position for granted and also discussed Steven and Tiwonge as a "gay couple."

That's really not ok.

If you're not sure just WHY that's so fucked up, please refer to this post by Helen G.

That said, VERY glad to see that they were pardoned!!