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Malawi Justice Minister Denies Suspending Enforcement of Anti-Gay Law

Jim Burroway

November 8th, 2012

From Malawi’s Daily Times:

Minister of Justice and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara has refuted reports that he issued a statement announcing the country’s suspension of anti-homosexual law to pave way for public debate and parliamentary vote on the legislation. …

“There was no such announcement and there was no discussion about same sex marriages,” Kasambara said. He further expressed ignorance on whether or not Parliament will discuss same-sex laws as it meets this month.

“None has so far talked or debated about same sex marriages. The Penal Code does not regulate same sex marriages or any marriages at all,” he told The Daily Times.

In a later interview, Kasambara insisted “Nobody talked about suspension of any provision of the Penal Code.”

On Monday, Kasambara was quoted by Malawi Today as saying that Malawi would not prosecute anyone under the nation’s colonial-era sodomy law, which provides a penalty of fourteen years’ imprisonment at hard labor. “There is a moratorium on all such laws, meaning that police will not arrest or prosecute anyone based on these laws. These laws will not be enforced until the time that Parliament makes a decision,” he said. In a separate interview with Reuters, he said, “If we continue arresting and prosecuting people based on the said laws and later such laws are found to be unconstitutional it would be an embarrassment to government.”



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