• All Share : 48934.51
    Top 40 : 4212.20
    Financial 15 : 13742.31
    Industrial 25 : 55468.32

  • ZAR/USD : 10.6333
    UP 0.12%
    ZAR/GBP : 17.8707
    UP 0.12%
    ZAR/EUR : 14.7081
    UP 0.14%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.1039
    UP 0.07%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.8639
    UP 0.25%

  • Gold : 1292.4700
    DOWN -0.05%
    Platinum : 1414.0000
    UP 0.35%
    Silver : 19.5903
    DOWN -0.55%
    Palladium : 802.0000
    UP 0.63%
    Brent Crude Oil : 110.330

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by I-Net Bridge
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Fri Apr 25 08:33:37 SAST 2014

Malawi gay trial a blow to human rights in Africa

The Editor, The Times Newspaper | 20 May, 2010 22:400 Comments

The Times Editorial: Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza received the maximum 14-year jail sentence yesterday for being gay. Chief Resident Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa told a full courtroom in Lilongwe, Malawi, that it was against the nation's culture for one man to marry another.

"That is not even in our constitution," he said. "Some of these rights are not good for our culture."

The sentences were imposed because Chimbalanga and Monjeza committed the "unnatural act" of declaring their love for each other at an engagement ceremony in December. Two days later, they were arrested and jailed.

Human rights organisations have been critical of the treatment of homosexuals by Malawi and other African countries. The African section of Amnesty International has called the Malawi sentence "an outrage" and said it would continue to campaign to have it set aside and the two men set free.

South African human rights organisations have asked the government to condemn the trial and its outcome.

But there are those who will say that Malawi, as well as every other African country that upholds discriminatory laws against gays, is well within its sovereign rights. Africa is, after all, not a homogenous continent where all rules apply to all countries.

In South Africa, we have a liberal constitution that protects the freedom of all who live here - straight, gay, Christian, Muslim. But those laws do not always protect those we regard as "other". Instead, men in our society rape lesbians and beat up gays to mete out what they claim to be corrective punishment.

Sovereign rights aside, we should be talking about respecting and upholding a human rights culture that should prevail irrespective of a country's sovereignty.

To submit comments you must first

Join the discussion & Debate

Malawi gay trial a blow to human rights in Africa

For Commenters Consideration | Please stick to the subject matter
Fri Apr 25 08:33:37 SAST 2014 ::