Malawi government moves to suspend law against homosexuality; Rights groups back move

Associated Press

BLANTYRE, Malawi - Malawi's justice minister says the government is moving to suspend laws against homosexuality and that police cannot arrest or prosecute people for same-sex acts.

The international rights group Human Rights Watch on Wednesday called the decision "courageous" and said that it should inspire other countries that criminalize homosexuality.

Malawi's justice minister-attorney general last week told a public debate on minority rights that the police have been ordered not to arrest anyone suspected of engaging in homosexuality. Those convicted under Malawi 's laws against same-sex acts can get up to 14 years in jail with hard labour.

Ralph Kasambara also said parliament will soon discuss the laws. Soon after taking office in April, President Joyce Banda announced that parliament will review the country's anti-gay laws.

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