Gay couple sentenced to maximum 14 years in Malawi
BLANTYRE, Malawi - A judge sentenced a couple to the maximum 14 years in prison with hard labor under Malawi's anti-gay legislation, and crowds jeered the two men as they were driven from the court house to jail Thursday.
The harsh sentence for unnatural acts and gross indecency had been expected after the same judge convicted Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza earlier this week under laws dating from the colonial era. The case has drawn international condemnation and sparked a debate on human rights in this conservative southern African country.
Chimbalanga, a 20-year-old hotel janitor, and his unemployed partner were arrested Dec. 27, the day after they celebrated their engagement with a party at the hotel where Chimbalanga worked an apparent first in Malawi.
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