West outraged by Malawian gay couples' 14 years' hard labour sentencing

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London, May 21 (ANI): The decision to jail two homosexual Malawian men for fouteen years with hard labour has been condemned by the West for its intolerance of those with alternative sexuality.

Following the verdict, a crowd gathered outside the courthouse in the Malawian capital, Blantyre, and it mercilessly pilloried the couple, Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga.

The two men were happily engaged in a public engagement ceremony and have been in custody since December 2009.

The judge, in his strongly worded sentencing, unkindly told the pair: "I will give you a scaring sentence so that the public will be protected from people like you, so that we are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example," The Times reports.

Monjeza was reduced to tears after the sentencing though his partner remained composed.

Peter Tatchell, of UK gay rights group OutRage!, came down heavily on the sentence, "This is an appalling, vindictive and brutal sentence, which tramples on Malawi's Constitution, violates personal privacy and reverses the country's commitment to human rights. Steven and Tiwonge love each other and have harmed no one. Yet they get a sentence more severe than some rapists, armed robbers and killers."

The decision has opened a Pandora's box for the tiny African nation, grappling with poverty and known for its conservative stand.

Religious leaders here say that homosexuality is tantamount to Satanism and such preferences are deemed 'un-African'. (ANI)

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