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article imagePardoned Malawian gay couple gets asylum offer in Britain Special

By Samuel Okocha     Jun 1, 2010 in World
The recently pardoned gay couple in Malawi has been offered asylum to stay in Britain, reports a news website from Malawi.
Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20 had been sentenced to 14 years for gross indecency and unnatural acts.
But Malawian president, Bingu wa Mutharika, released the pair, citing humanitarian grounds, after international pressure and the eventual visit of UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon to the southern African country.
British human rights campaigner, Peter Thatchel told media in Malawi that they were liasing with Steve and Tiwongwe about whether they want to seek asylum abroad. "If they want then we can help them stay in Britain,'' said Thatchel.
The asylum offer came after Malawi’s Minister of Gender and Children Patricia Kaliati said if the couple continues to stay together they will be re-arrested.
Already the release of the homosexual couple had generated mixed reactions.
"It's a mixed bag," said Malawian freelance journalist, Chancy Namadzunda.
Namadzunda, who owns the Malawian news web site www.tiunikekwathu.com said "Steve's relatives don't want him back" while "Tiwonge's relatives are somehow reluctant" he added.
According to Namadzunda the gay couple is yet to decide on the asylum offer, but he said "they say they still love each other.''
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