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Malawi Gay Men Sentenced to 14 Years

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Here's a press release from UNAIDS:

UNAIDS expresses serious concern over ruling in Malawi

GENEVA, 20 May 2010 - UNAIDS is greatly concerned about the guilty verdict handed down by a magistrate court in Malawi against Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga.

The two men were arrested in December 2009 by police officials on charges of engaging in "indecent practices between males" and "unnatural offenses." Both men were subsequently detained for nearly five months, despite several applications for bail and concerns about their health. They were each sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment and hard labour.

UNAIDS considers the criminalization of individuals based on their sexual orientation as a setback for human rights that threatens public health gains in the AIDS response. Criminalizing sexual behaviour drives people who engage in same-sex relations underground and hampers HIV-related programmes aimed at addressing their needs.

More than 80 countries have legislation prohibiting same-sex behaviour. UNAIDS urges all governments to ensure full respect for the human rights of men who have sex with men, lesbians and transgendered people through repealing laws that prohibit sexual acts between consenting adults in private; enforcing laws to protect these groups from violence and discrimination; promoting campaigns that address homophobia and transphobia; and ensuring that crucial health needs are met.

Eric Sawyer's comment:

When are we going to start organizing a global campaign to de-criminalize same sex love? It is crazy that with so much hate and violence and in the world that two men are sentenced to 14 years of hard labor for loving each other.

These laws and the hatred and discrimination gay men, lesbians, bi-sexuals, trans-gendered people, transexuals, MSM and all related variations face must change; we must ban together with our friends and fight for our human rights! Laws, norms, religious teaching and social mores won't change by themselves! ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS!

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Comments on Eric Sawyer's blog entry "Malawi Gay Men Sentenced to 14 Years"


Bless your heart for taking up the cause of these two men in Malawi.

I'm glad you're still fighting the good fight after so many years. I'm an HIV prevention specialist for the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, HIV+ for nearly 20 years now, and I have a DVD copy of Peter Adair's film, "Absolutely Positive," in my collection at home. I remember when the film was first broadcast on public television so many years ago; it had a huge impact on me.

Today I was wondering which of the interviewees from that film were still around, and after a little Googling I found out that you are still alive and doing the good work. Although most of the 11 people in that film (plus the director) have passed away, it's gratifying to know that a few have survived to do the kind of tremendously important work that you do.

I remember back in the 1990s, there was a big national AIDS conference in Washingtonm, DC, coinciding with a display of the entire NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt on the Mall, and on an elevator at the hotel I was staying at, I just happened to run into Greg Cassin, also inverviewed for "Absolutely Positive." I was so thrilled to talk to him.

Anyway, forgive me for being so off-topic. I wish you good luck, good health, and every success in the future.


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This page contains a single entry by Eric Sawyer published on May 20, 2010 9:31 PM.

Tell Obama to man up and tell insurance companies to get lost! Tell him to look down and find his balls! was the previous entry in this blog.

What's All the Noise About PrEP For? is the next entry in this blog.

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