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Malawi Will Not Arrest, Prosecute Gays Despite Anti-Gay Laws

  • Associated Press

FILE - Women protest against a sentence of 14 years in prison, with hard labor, given to two men in Malawi under Malawi's anti-gay legislation, in the city of Cape Town, South Africa, May 20, 2010. The Malawian government has reaffirmed its decision to halt the arrest and while lawmakers review existing anti-gay laws.

FILE - Women protest against a sentence of 14 years in prison, with hard labor, given to two men in Malawi under Malawi's anti-gay legislation, in the city of Cape Town, South Africa, May 20, 2010. The Malawian government has reaffirmed its decision to halt the arrest and while lawmakers review existing anti-gay laws.

The Malawian government has reaffirmed its decision to halt the arrest and while lawmakers review existing anti-gay laws.

Rights groups Human Rights Watch and the Centre for the Development of the People praised the Malawian government for upholding its 2012 commitment, after prosecutors dropped charges against a same-sex couple.

The rights groups said two men were detained by a neighborhood watch team, who turned them over to police. The men were forced to undergo medical tests and charged with sodomy. This was the first arrest since 2009, when a gay couple was jailed and pardoned a year later.

In a statement published by a Malawian newspaper, the country's Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu said no arrests or prosecutions must occur while the country reviews its laws.

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