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Sun Oct 23 05:11:49 SAST 2016

Malawi court orders arrests of homosexuals, offenders face up to 14 years imprisonment

Agency Staff | 12 February, 2016 12:08
Scales of justice in a court of law. File photo.
Image by: Thinkstock Images.

A court in Malawi's northern region has ordered the country's director of prosecutions and the police to arrest those found engaging in homosexual activities.

The instruction, according to Malawi24, came after pastors in the Mzuzu area filed a court application calling for people in same sex relationships to be prosecuted. They argued that homosexuality was against the laws of the southern African country.

The three pastors made the application after the minister of justice and constitutional affairs re-affirmed the moratorium on consensual homosexual offences.

Former president Joyce Banda, appealed to parliament in 2012 to repeal the sodomy law. However, following some resistance from parliamentarians, Banda issued a moratorium on the law.

But the pastors said homosexuality was not acceptable under the country's constitution.

14 years in prison

"A declaration that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has no authority to suspend the operation of any law or to stop subjecting to the due process of the law all persons in the country who are suspected of having committed homosexual offences or offences of having carnal knowledge against the order of nature, under section 153 of the Penal Code," the application read.

Section 153 of the Penal Code states that those found to be guilty of homosexuality could face up to 14 years in prison, with or without corporal punishment.

According to Face of Malawi, Justice Dingiswayo Madise heard all arguments before ruling in favour of the three pastors.

Madise also warned that anyone who did not abide by this law would be held in contempt of court.

The lawyer representing the pastors, George Kadzipatike, said the injunction granted by Madise meant  that those who were arrested on charges of homosexuality and were freed while the moratorium was in force would have to be tried in court, Nyasa Times reported.

This comes after Kelvin Gomani, who was arrested in December last year for allegedly having homosexual relations, was recently attacked by an unknown gang.

Source: News24


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