Thursday, 11 March 2010

Support Amnesty's Malawi campaign

Fax and post letters to the Malawi government
Call for release of Steven Monjeza & Tiwonge Chimbalanga

London, UK - 11 March 2010

OutRage! is backing Amnesty International's appeal for letters of protest to the Malawian government over the arrest and trial of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga. They face up to 14 years jail on charges of homosexuality. The verdict in their trial is expected on Monday 22 March.

See this sample letter, and the postal address and fax number of the Malawian President and Attorney General.

Amnesty International has adopted the two men as Prisoners of Conscience and is campaigning for their release.

"OutRage! is supporting Amnesty's campaign. If enough people send letters of protest, it
might help secure an acquittal or a less harsh sentence. Even if Tiwonge and Steven are convicted, they could win a successful appeal and be freed eventually," said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!

"From their prison cells, both men have urged international pressure for their release. They need lots of support and solidarity in the run-up to the trial result. Please take time to support Amnesty's letter-writing campaign," he said.

Amnesty International UK Director, Kate Allen, added:

"Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga have committed no criminal offence and we adopted them as prisoners of conscience after their arrest at the end of December. It is vital that as many people as possible join us in writing to the Malawi authorities calling on them to release the two men and for them to investigate their treatment in custody."

See this Amnesty International briefing on the case: Here

1 comment:

Anengiyefa said...

That two people should go to prison for loving each other defies rationality and common sense. It is Malawian society, and by implication most of sub-Saharan Africa, that is on trial here. Not two men whose only "crime" is that they publicly declared their love for each other.

In any event, the colonial-era "sodomy law" under which these men are charged, requires proof beyond reasonable doubt of actual physical sexual penetration. Sexual penetration is something I do not believe the prosecutors are going to be able to provide evidence of, evidence such as is sufficient to satisfy a Judge presiding over a criminal court in a Common Law jurisdiction.