Gay Malawi Couple Loses Bail Appeal, Goes Back to Jail

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, the Malawian couple arrested and charged with
"gross indecency" following an engagement ceremony at a Blantyre lodge, have lost their bail appeal:

Malawicouple "The pair, believed to be the first gay couple in Malawi to start the process of getting married, pleaded not guilty to the charges last week.

Homosexual acts carry a maximum prison sentence of 14 years in Malawi.

Prosecutors have said they would send the pair to hospital to prove they have had sex together but their lawyers say he will resist this…At their court appearance last week, Mr Monjeza, 26, hinted that he may consider calling off the proposed wedding, as he was sent back to prison. 'I am sad I am going back to Chichiri Prison,' he said.' The conditions are terrible there. People are exaggerating this thing. I may just as well dissolve this marriage.'

Mr Chimbalanga, 20, dressed in women's clothes, refused to speak to journalists, beyond accusing them of writing "stupid" things."

Jailed Malawi Gay Couple May Face Humiliating, Invasive Sex Test [tr]

Court Orders Gay Malawian 'Married' Couple to Remain in Jail [tr]
Gay Malawian Couple Who Married in Symbolic Wedding Arrested [tr]
Two Men Defy Anti-Gay Laws, Wed in Symbolic Ceremony in Malawi [tr]

Posted January 4, 2010 at 11:45am ETC by Andy Towle
in gay marriage, Malawi, News